High cerebrospinal fluid and serum levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha in asymptomatic HIV-1 seropositive individuals. Correlation with interleukin-2 and soluble IL-2 receptor

J Neurol Sci. 1994 Sep;125(2):175-9. doi: 10.1016/0022-510x(94)90031-0.


The relationship between tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and the interleukin-2 (ILL-2) system in HIV-1 infection is important in understanding the dynamics of early immune response before the development of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Levels of TNF-alpha, IL-2 and soluble IL-2 receptor (sIL-2R) in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from 31 asymptomatic HIV-1 seropositive individuals were measured. High levels of TNF-alpha were detected in CSF of 17 (55%) and serum of 22 (71%) subjects, 15 (88%) of whom had elevated CSF IL-2 levels and 16 (94%) had high sIL-2R levels. Moreover, CSF levels of TNF-alpha significantly correlated with CSF levels of IL-2 and sIL-2R. TNF-alpha, IL-2 and sIL-2R seem to be released within the intrathecal compartment early in the course of HIV-1 infection. In view of the known cytotoxic effects of TNF-alpha, an early release may contribute to subsequent development of neurological complications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Proteins / analysis*
  • HIV Seropositivity / blood
  • HIV Seropositivity / cerebrospinal fluid
  • HIV Seropositivity / immunology*
  • HIV-1*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-2 / analysis*
  • Interleukin-2 / blood
  • Interleukin-2 / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Male
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / analysis*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / analysis*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / cerebrospinal fluid


  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Proteins
  • Interleukin-2
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha