Polyclonal B-cell activation is a characteristic feature of AIDS and of the AIDS-related complex. Since the immunoregulatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) plays a major role in inducing B-cell differentiation, we examined the effects of native human immunodeficiency virus type 1 envelope glycoproteins gp120 and gp160 on IL-6 induction. In this study, we have demonstrated that both gp120 and gp160 have the ability to induce IL-6 mRNA and biologically active IL-6 protein secretion in peripheral blood mononuclear cells in vitro. The envelope protein preparations had no detectable endotoxin as tested by the Limulus amebocyte lysate assay, and hence we can rule out the effect of contaminating endotoxin, which is a potent inducer of IL-6 in monocyte/macrophage cell cultures. In addition, we have shown that the envelope glycoproteins act directly on CD4+-cloned T cells to induce IL-6 production in the absence of monocytes. These findings indicate that monocytes and T cells both contribute to the secretion of IL-6, which plays an important role in the pathogenesis of B-cell activation in human immunodeficiency virus infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science