Purified blood monocytes from HIV 1-infected patients produce high levels of TNF alpha and IL-1

Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1989 Mar;50(3):374-84. doi: 10.1016/0090-1229(89)90144-x.


The production of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha) and interleukin 1 (IL-1) was measured in supernatants of cultured peripheral blood monocytes that were obtained from patients with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV 1) infection and that were purified by counterflow centrifugal elutriation (86-92% purity). TNF alpha levels were significantly higher in monocytes isolated from symptomatic HIV 1-infected patients as compared to normal controls. Although IL-1 levels were also elevated in this group of symptomatic patients they did not reach statistical significance. The production of the two monokines was intermediate in asymptomatic HIV 1-infected individuals. The increase of TNF alpha was observed in the absence of in vitro stimulation as well as in the presence of interferon-gamma plus lipopolysaccharide. TNF alpha and IL-1 were measured by radioimmunoassay and by bioassay, the results of the two methods being highly correlated for both cytokines. The levels of TNF alpha and IL-1 were also positively correlated. These data suggest that IL-1 and TNF alpha may be involved in the pathogenesis of HIV 1 infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / blood*
  • Adult
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • HIV-1*
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / pharmacology
  • Interleukin-1 / analysis
  • Interleukin-1 / biosynthesis*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monocytes / metabolism*
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / analysis
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis*


  • Interleukin-1
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interferon-gamma