Immunologic reconstitution by interleukin-2: Facts and open questions

G. Vallanti, C. Bovolenta, A. Brambilla, G. Tambussi, A. Lazzarin, E. Vicenzi, G. Poli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interleukin-2 (IL-2), one of the most potent immunoregulatory and inflammatory cytokines, is being tested in phase III clinical trials in order to demonstrate its efficacy in combination with current antiviral agents in preventing the occurrence of opportunistic infections and death in individuals infected by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In the meantime, its capacity to boost the number of CD4+ T cells in peripheral blood has been confirmed by a number of individual phase I/II trials conducted in different countries by independent investigators. In the face of this remarkable result, little is known of the effects exerted by this cytokine once administered to infected individuals in terms of its impact on different immunologic functions. The recent acquisitions on the important role played by latently infected cells in in vivo infection in reinitiating HIV replication and cytopathicity once antiviral therapy is suspended or becomes suboptimal, has shed new light on the possibility of utilizing immunologic strategies, including IL-2, for eradicating the virus from latent reservoirs. Results from a clinical trial conducted at our Institute indicate a decrease in lymphocyte-associated HIV DNA after IL-2 administration, supporting this hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-44
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • HIV
  • IL-2
  • Immunoreconstitution
  • Replication
  • Reservoir

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Physiology
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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