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||Increased levels of circulating cytokines with HIV-related immunosuppression.
||Shebl FM, Yu K, Landgren O, Goedert JJ, Rabkin CS
||AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses
||Cytokines may contribute to the severity of CD4 cell depletion with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, but quantitative relationships are not well defined. Serum and plasma from 181 HIV-infected individuals were tested with Millipore 30-plex Luminex cytokine assays. Within-individual correlations among cytokines were summarized by two-dimensional hierarchical cluster analysis. Associations with age, sex, race, CD4 count, and HIV viral load were determined with linear regression models. Tests for statistical significance were corrected for multiple comparisons, using a false discovery rate of 0.1. African-Americans had significantly higher levels than whites of six cytokines (IL-2, IL-5, IL-7, IL-15, fractalkine, and IFN-γ), and lower levels of MCP-1. Females had higher fractalkine levels than males. Age was not associated with levels of any cytokine. Six cytokines, including the T-helper (Th) type 1 cytokine IL-15, the Th2 cytokines IL-1ra and IL-10, the chemokines fractalkine and MCP-1, and the growth factor G-CSF were each inversely associated with CD4 count; no cytokine was directly associated with CD4 count. Fractalkine was directly associated with HIV viral load, adjusted for CD4 count. Cytokines clustered by primary function (e.g., Th1, Th2, proinflammatory, chemokines, or growth factors) whereas individuals clustered according to cytokine levels (generally high, intermediate, or low) had significantly different CD4 counts [medians (interquartile range) of 60 (17-162), 131 (62-321), and 155 (44-467), respectively; p<0.0001]. CD4 deficiency is associated with generalized increases in cytokines of various functions. Racial differences in cytokine response to HIV infection could contribute to disparities in disease progression.