In vitro production of type 1 and type 2 cytokines by peripheral blood mononuclear cells from high-risk HIV-negative intravenous drug users

AIDS. 1995 Jul;9(7):691-4. doi: 10.1097/00002030-199507000-00004.


Objective: To study type 1 and type 2 cytokine patterns in HIV-negative high-risk intravenous drug users (IVDU).

Design: We investigated interleukin (IL)-2, interferon (IFN)-gamma, IL-4, IL-6 and IL-10 production by phytohaemagglutinin (PHA)-stimulated and unstimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) cultures from HIV-negative high-risk IVDU, HIV-negative controls and HIV-positive subjects.

Methods: Cytokine production was measured in supernatants using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in 10 HIV-negative high-risk IVDU, 25 HIV-negative controls, and 12 HIV-positive IVDU. We also determined spontaneous in vitro immunoglobulin (Ig) G and IgM production.

Results: HIV-negative high-risk IVDU showed increased IFN-gamma and decreased IL-4, IL-10 and IL-2, although the latter was not significant compared with HIV-negative controls. Further, HIV-negative high-risk IVDU had reduced IgG production and impaired IgM-IgG switch.

Conclusions: The reduced IL-2 and IL-4 production suggest an impaired CD4+ T-cell function in HIV-negative high-risk IVDU. The increased IFN-gamma production along with the decreased type 2 cytokine profile is consistent with the hypothesis that protective immunity against HIV may reside in type 1 responses and cell-mediated immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis*
  • Cytokines / blood
  • HIV Seronegativity*
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Interferon-gamma / blood
  • Interleukin-10 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-10 / blood
  • Interleukin-4 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-4 / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism*
  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / blood*


  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-6
  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • Interleukin-10
  • Interleukin-4
  • Interferon-gamma