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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Increased expression of IL-32 correlates with IFN-γ, Th1 and Tc1 in virologically suppressed HIV-1-infected patients

Letizia Santinelli, Maura Statzu, Alessandra Pierangeli, Federica Frasca, Alessia Bressan, Claudia Pinacchio, Chiara Nonne, Ombretta Turriziani, Guido Antonelli, Gabriella d'Ettorre, Carolina Scagnolari
Cytokine 2019 March 22
30910260
Following recent attention focused on IL-32 as an important component involved in the inflammatory cytokine network, we speculated that IL-32's action on IFN-γ and IFN-γ secreting T cell subsets may help sustain the immune activation and dysregulation found in patients with HIV-1 achieving viral suppression. To explore this hypothesis, transcript levels of IL-32 and IFN-γ were evaluated in PBMC from 139 virologically suppressed HIV-1-infected patients and from 63 healthy individuals by Real Time RT-PCR assays. IL-32 and IFN-γ mRNA levels were also analyzed in CD4+ T cells, CD14+ monocytes and lamina propria lymphocytes (LPL) of the gut district in a subgroup of HIV-1-infected subjects. IFN-γ secreting CD4+ (Th1) and CD8+ (Tc1) T cell subset frequencies were evaluated in LPL by multiparametric flow cytometry. Gene expression results revealed that IL-32 and IFN-γ levels in PBMC from HIV-1-positive patients were significantly elevated compared to those from healthy donors, correlated with each other and increased with patient age. Both IL-32 and IFN-γ genes were also more strongly expressed in CD4+ T cells than in CD14+ monocytes. By contrast, IL-32 levels in LPL were comparable to those measured in PBMC, while IFN-γ levels were higher in PBMC than those in LPL. Negative correlations were found between IL-32 levels and the frequencies of Th1 and Tc1 subsets in gut mucosa. Collectively, our results provide the first evidence that IL-32 levels remain elevated in treated HIV-1-infected patients and correlate with IFN-γ, Th1 and Tc1 subsets.

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