In this study we evaluated the effect of recombinant interferon-alpha 2b (IFN-alpha 2b) therapy on the number of circulating platelets and interleukin-6 (IL-6) plasma levels in 12 human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) seropositive patients, affected by a severe and persistent thrombocytopenia. The levels of IL-6 in plasma of HIV-1 seropositive thrombocytopenic subjects before IFN-alpha therapy were similar (80 +/- 15 pg/ml) to those observed in 15 HIV-1 seropositive asymptomatic individuals (75 +/- 12 pg/ml) and 30 HIV-1 seronegative blood donors (59.5 +/- 25 pg/ml). On the other hand, IL-6 amounts (148 +/- 36 pg/ml) in plasma of HIV-1 seropositive thrombocytopenic subjects were significantly (p <0.01) increased after 5 weeks of IFN-alpha 2b therapy, showing a good correlation (p <0.05, chi-square test) with the levels of circulating platelets. Moreover, an increased spontaneous IL-6 production by peripheral blood monocytes was observed after IFN-alpha 2b therapy in HIV-1 seropositive thrombocytopenic patients. Our results suggest that an increased production of IL-6, one of the main factors controlling thrombocytopoiesis, may partially explain the ability of IFN-alpha 2b therapy, to restore platelet production in a subset of HIV-1 seropositive thrombocytopenic individuals.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 1993|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)