Interleukin-15 enhances neutrophil functional activity in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection

Claudio M. Mastroianni, Gabriella D'Ettorre, Gabriele Forcina, Miriam Lichtner, Fabio Mengoni, Claudia D'Agostino, Angela Corpolongo, Anna P. Massetti, Vincenzo Vullo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN) dysfunction has been reported in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients. Interleukin (IL)-15 is a recently discovered cytokine that potentiates anti-microbial functions of normal PMNs. We evaluated the in vitro effect of IL-15 on chemotaxis and fungicidal activity of PMNs from 9 patients with untreated advanced HIV infection, 8 patients with viral suppression after 52 to 130 weeks of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), and 12 patients with treatment failure. We also studied oxidative burst and apoptosis of PMNs in 5 patients with untreated advanced HIV infection. Twelve healthy donors were included as controls. Chemotaxis and fungicidal activity of unprimed PMNs was significantly lower in patients with untreated HIV infection compared with controls. After incubation with IL-15, a significant increase in PMN chemotaxis and fungicidal activity was found; moreover, IL-15 induced a significant reduction in the number of apoptotic HIV+ PMNs. IL-15 did not modulate oxidative burst of HIV+ PMNs as measured by chemiluminescence production. The in vitro priming of PMNs with IL-15 determined a complete reversal of defective chemotaxis and killing in all HAART-treated patients with long-term HIV suppression. IL-15 significantly enhanced chemotaxis and fungicidal activity also in patients with HAART failure. In conclusion, IL-15 is an important cytokine in the activation of the functional properties of HIV+ PMNs, by delaying apoptosis and enhancing chemotaxis and fungicidal activity. The potent stimulant effect of IL-15 on PMN function was observed in antiretroviral naive patients as well as in individuals who were receiving HAART, including those with treatment failure. (C) 2000 by The American Society of Hematology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1979-1984
Number of pages6
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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