Journal of Clinical Immunology

, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 371–380 | Cite as

Expression of a functional p75 interleukin-2 receptor on lung lymphocytes from patients with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection

  • Renato Zambello
  • Livio Trentin
  • Roberto Benetti
  • Angiolo Cipriani
  • Carlo Crivellaro
  • Paolo Cadrobbi
  • Carlo Agostini
  • Gianpietro Semenzato
Original Articles


Lung involvement in patients affected by HIV-1 infection is characterized by an alveolitis sustained by the accumulation of CD8+ T lymphocytes. To investigate whetherin situ T cell growth plays a relevant role in the pooling of CD8+ lymphocytes, we have analyzed the activity of two lymphokines involved in the mechanisms of T cell proliferation, i.e., interleukin-2 (IL-2) and interleukin-4. To this aim, following appropriate triggering and blocking, the expression and the functional role of IL-2 receptors (IL-2R) (both p55 and p75 chains) and IL-4 receptors have been analyzed on T lymphocytes obtained from the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) of 16 HIV-1+ patients. Molecular and phenotypic studies we performed demonstrated that CD8+ lymphocytes from the BAL of HIV-1 + patients strongly expressed the p75 chain of IL-2 receptor, while neither p55 mRNA nor its surface membrane product (Tac antigen) was detectable; in addition, there was no expression of IL-4 receptors. IL-2 stimulation was able to induce T cell growth in a dose-dependent manner, whereas IL-4 did not. Finally, using mAbs which specifically block the p55 or p75 IL-2R, we showed that both subunits of IL-2R were involved in the proliferative activity of lung lymphocytes. The results obtained in the present study directly demonstrate that BAL T lymphocytes of HIV-1 + patients express a fully functional IL-2 receptor apparatus, pointing to the role for this lymphokine in maintaining the alveolitis taking place in the lungs of AIDS patients.

Key words

Interleukin-2 receptors pulmonary immunocompetent cells human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Renato Zambello
    • 1
    • 2
  • Livio Trentin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Roberto Benetti
    • 1
    • 2
  • Angiolo Cipriani
    • 1
    • 2
  • Carlo Crivellaro
    • 1
    • 2
  • Paolo Cadrobbi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Carlo Agostini
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gianpietro Semenzato
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Medicine, 1st Medical Clinic and Clinical Immunology SectionPadua University School of MedicineItaly
  2. 2.Departments of Infectious Diseases and PneumothysiologyPadua HospitalItaly

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