Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Impaired IL-2 expression in latent HIV-1 infection.

PMID 26086100


Regarding the T cell function in HIV-1 infection, activation of T cells is enhanced in acutely HIV-1-infected T cells upon stimuli. However, T cell immune responses underlying the activation of T cell receptor (TCR) signaling molecules and interleukin (IL)-2 production in latently HIV-1-infected cells are poorly understood. The expression and activation of TCR components and its downstream molecules in acutely and latently HIV-1-infected T cells were compared using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for mRNA expression and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for levels of IL-2 in phytohemagglutinin M (PHA-M). The levels of T cell surface molecules and TCR signaling molecules in latently HIV-1-infected cells were greatly decreased without changes in their mRNA levels. In addition, downstream TCR-signaling molecules in latently HIV-1-infected cells were not activated even in the presence of PHA-M. The phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) in the presence of PHA-M was weakly induced in latently HIV-1-infected cells but was greater in acutely HIVNL4-3-infected cells. Finally, the production of IL-2 was significantly decreased in latently HIV-1-infected cells compared with uninfected parent cells. Thus, IL-2-related immunological functions in latently HIV-1-infected T cells were markedly impaired even in the presence of stimuli.