Effect of interleukin-2 on the pool of latently infected, resting CD4+ T cells in HIV-1-infected patients receiving highly active anti-retroviral therapy

Nat Med. 1999 Jun;5(6):651-5. doi: 10.1038/9498.


The size of the pool of resting CD4+ T cells containing replication-competent HIV in the blood of patients receiving intermittent interleukin (IL)-2 plus highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) was significantly lower than that of patients receiving HAART alone. Virus could not be isolated from the peripheral blood CD4+ T cells in three patients receiving IL-2 plus HAART, despite the fact that large numbers of resting CD4+ T cells were cultured. Lymph node biopsies were done in two of these three patients and virus could not be isolated. These results indicate that the intermittent administration of IL-2 with continuous HAART may lead to a substantial reduction in the pool of resting CD4+ T cells that contain replication-competent HIV.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / drug effects*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / virology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Protease Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • HIV-1 / drug effects*
  • HIV-1 / pathogenicity
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-2 / pharmacology
  • Interleukin-2 / therapeutic use*
  • Lymph Nodes / virology
  • Lymphocyte Count / drug effects
  • RNA, Viral / blood
  • Virus Replication / drug effects


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • HIV Protease Inhibitors
  • Interleukin-2
  • RNA, Viral