Impaired production of lymphokines and immune (gamma) interferon in the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Lymphokines


  • To examine the cellular immune defect that predisposes patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) to opportunistic infections, we tested T lymphocytes from 16 patients for the capacity to secrete macrophage-activating products (lymphokines) including gamma interferon. Mononuclear cells from 10 of 11 patients did not generate an effective lymphokine in response to mitogen, and 11 of 16 produced subnormal levels of gamma interferon (less than 300 U per milliliter). In addition, upon stimulation with specific microbial antigen, cells from none of 14 patients generated active lymphokines, and cells from 13 to 14 completely failed to secrete gamma interferon. However, the antimicrobial function of monocytes from the patients was intact, and once stimulated with normal lymphokines or gamma interferon alone, macrophages derived from patients' monocytes responded with enhanced and effective intracellular antimicrobial activity. These results suggest that impaired lymphokine production may predispose patients with AIDS to opportunistic infections, and they provide a rationale for using gamma interferon as immunotherapy.

publication date

  • January 1984



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed ID

  • 6422299

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 883

end page

  • 9


  • 310


  • 14