Successful immunomodulating in AIDS patients with ursodeoxycholic acid-a pilot study

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SUMMARYBased on the positive therapeutic results with ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis, in whom we observed a clinical improvement in conjunction with the normalization of the low pretreatment dipeptidyl peptidase (DPIV, CD26) expression of peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL), we hypothesized that the very low DPIV expression in AIDS patients could be positively influenced by UDCA. Four young male AIDS patients were therefore treated with 750 mg of UDCA for 4 months. The low CD26 expression (2-8% of the PBL versus 18-28% in healthy controls) at the beginning of the study rose to 10-16% after UDCA therapy. Simultaneously we observed a two-to-three-fold elevation of the absolute number of lymphocytes as well as a slight increase of CD4+ cells. These effects were similar in all examined patients. Further investigations should be conducted on this potentially beneficial effect of UDCA.

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