Cytokines and T-Cell Homeostasis in HIV Infection

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Untreated human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is characterized by progressive CD4+ T-cell depletion and CD8+ T-cell expansion, and CD4+ T-cell depletion is linked directly to the risk for opportunistic infections and infection-associated mortality. With suppression of HIV replication by antiretroviral therapy, circulating CD4+ Tcell numbers typically improve while CD8+ T-cell expansion persists, and both CD4+ T-cell cytopenia and CD8+ T-cell expansion are associated with morbidity and mortality. In this brief review, we report on the role that selected homeostatic and inflammatory cytokines may play both in the failure of CD4+ T-cell restoration and the CD8+ T-cell expansion that characterize HIV infection.

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