Increased serum neopterin in patients with HIV-1 infection is correlated with reduced in vitro interleukin-2 production

D. Fuchs, G. M. Shearer, R. N. Boswell, M. Clerici, G. Reibnegger, E. R. Werner, R. A. Zajac, H. Wachter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recently we have observed that the CD4+ T cell response of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) to soluble antigens is the first to be lost in the course of HIV-1 infection followed by the loss of response to HLA alloantigens. In this study we compared serum neopterin concentrations of individuals with early stages of HIV-1 infection (stages WR1 and WR2, Walter Reed staging system) with in vitro interleukin-2 (IL-2) production of PBMC in response to stimulation with soluble antigens (influenza A virus and tetanus toxoid) and alloantigens. Neopterin concentrations were significantly higher in HIV-1-seropositive individuals who showed deficient IL-2 production in response to recall antigens only or to all of the stimuli tested in vitro, compared with HIV-1-seropositive individuals who exhibited no CD4+ T cell defects. No difference in serum neopterin concentrations was observed between the group that was functionally deficient to soluble antigens only versus those who were unresponsive to both types of stimuli. It appears that the selective loss of the MHC self-restricted CD4+ T cell function is associated with an increase in serum neopterin levels. Neopterin concentrations are an estimate of the activation status of macrophages. We conclude that defective in vitro production of lymphokines by T lymphocytes is associated with activated macrophages in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-48
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1990


  • cellular immunity
  • HIV infection
  • interleukin-2 production in vitro
  • macrophage activation in vivo
  • neopterin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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