Cytokine Augmentation of HIV-1 LTR-driven Gene Expression in Neural Cells

AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 1992 Apr;8(4):487-93. doi: 10.1089/aid.1992.8.487.


The induction of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) gene expression by cytokines was investigated in cells of central nervous system origin. These were human neuroblastoma, glioblastoma, and astrocytoma cell lines, a murine oligodendroglioma and primary murine astrocyte cultures. The cytokines used were tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta), IL-6, and interferons alpha and gamma (IFN alpha, gamma). Transient transfection of cells with a chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) reporter gene under the control of the HIV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR) showed significant augmentation following treatment by particular cytokines. TNF alpha was found to augment HIV LTR-directed CAT activity in all cell types. IL-1 beta also activated the HIV LTR reporter gene in glioblastoma, astrocytoma, and astrocyte cells. IL-6 enhanced HIV gene expression in one example only, the primary astrocyte cultures. The interferons generally suppressed expression from the LTR except IFN gamma which produced a twofold rise in the murine glial cells and IFN alpha augmenting expression in one neuroblastoma cell line. No synergy was observed between pairs of activating cytokines tested. The HIV tat gene product was found to be functional in all cells, cotransfection of a tat expression vector transactivating expression from the LTR, with varying degrees of efficiency. In some cell lines the combination of an activating cytokine and tat resulted in an enhancement above that obtained by cotransfection of tat alone. In others, the level of CAT activity did not significantly change. Analysis of nuclear extracts from cytokine-treated cells further implicated the involvement of NFKB in the induction of HIV-1 gene expression.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line
  • Chloramphenicol O-Acetyltransferase / genetics
  • Cytokines / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Viral*
  • Gene Products, tat / metabolism
  • HIV Long Terminal Repeat / genetics*
  • HIV-1 / genetics*
  • HIV-1 / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • NF-kappa B / biosynthesis
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurons / microbiology*
  • Oligonucleotide Probes
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Virus Replication
  • tat Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus


  • Cytokines
  • Gene Products, tat
  • NF-kappa B
  • Oligonucleotide Probes
  • Trans-Activators
  • tat Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus
  • Chloramphenicol O-Acetyltransferase