Increased expression of IgG Fc receptor type I on neutrophils and monocytes from HIV-infected subjects

F. Capsoni, F. Minonzio, A. M. Ongari, G. Colombo, G. P. Rizzardi, P. Bonara, A. D'Arminio-Monforte, C. Zanussi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) induces de novo expression of IgG Fc receptor type I (FcRI) on neutrophils and significantly raises the level of these receptors on monocytes. Since increased concentrations of IFN-γ have been observed in sera from patients with HIV infection, FcRI expression might also be increased on these subjects' phagocytes. FcRI expression was assessed by indirect immunofluorescence staining of phagocytes in whole blood from 40 healthy controls and 55 HIV + subjects, 24 belonging to CDC class III and 31 to CDC class IV; 42 were intravenous drug abusers (IVDA) and 13 were homosexual men. Plasma levels of IFN-γ were measured using a modified immunoradiometric assay. The mean linear fluorescence intensity, used as a relative measure of receptor expression, was significantly higher on unseparated neutrophils from HIV + subjects in CDC classes III (P <0.001) and IV (P <0.0001) than from controls. Similar changes in FcRI expression were observed on monocytes from HIV + subjects. While no differences were observed between IVDA and homosexual HIV + patients, there was a significant association between FcRI expression and the patients' CDC stage, those in class IV having the highest FcRI levels. Plasma IFN-γ concentrations were significantly higher in HIV + patients than in controls and a positive correlation with the stages of HIV infection was again observed. FcRI expression was also increased on freshly purified neutrophils from five HIV + patients in CDC class IV but did not increase further after 18 h incubation with IFN-γ, a treatment that up-regulated FcRI expression on control neutrophils. These data suggest that: (i) FcRI evaluation may be a sensitive marker for the biological activity of IFN-γ in vivo; (ii) phagocytes from HIV + subjects are activated in vivo by IFN-γ, expressing increased levels of FcRI; (iii) these IFN-γ-activated cells may play a role in the pathogenesis of AIDS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-180
Number of pages6
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • AIDS
  • Fc receptors
  • interferon-gamma
  • monocytes
  • neutrophils

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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