HIV infects and propagates into CD4+T lymphocytes and macrophages, although many other cell types play an important role in virus spreading and pathogenesis. In addition to regulatory viral proteins, the cytokine network has early been implicated as a major controller of the plastic capacity of HIV to spread productively or rather remain silently integrated in the chromosomes of infected cells. The recent discovery of CCR5 and CXCR4 as essential entry co-receptors together with CD4 has highlighted a novel and potentially important step in the pharmacological hunt for more effective antiviral agents. In addition to regulate HIV expression and replication, several cytokines have demonstrated the capacity of up- or down-modulating chemokine receptors including CCR5 and CXCR4 with the consequence of influencing the susceptibility of T cells and macrophages to HIV infection. Pharmacological agents such as pertussis toxin B-oligomer have demonstrated HIV suppressive effects via non competitive binding of CCR5, whereas interferons or interleukin-16 (IL-16) can prevent post-entry steps in HIV expression. At the clinical level, several cytokines or their receptors are useful markers for monitoring disease progression and its consequence on the immune system. Cytokine-based therapy represents a realistic complementary approach to traditional antiretroviral therapy potentially capable of restoring important adaptive or innate immune functions ultimately curtailing HIV spreading and its consequences on the immune system, as exemplified by the experimental clinical use of IL-2.
Keywords: Cytokine, Chemokine, HIV Infection, Replication, CD4+ T lymphocytes, CCR5, CXCR4, highly aggressive anti-retroviral therapy (HAART), plasma-associated HIV RNA, or viremia) inexorably, cytotoxic T
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport