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Markers of immune stimulation in the cerebrospinal fluid during HIV infection: a longitudinal study

Journal article
Authors Magnus Gisslén
Francesca Chiodi
Dietmar Fuchs
Gunnar Norkrans
Bo Svennerholm
Helmut Wachter
Lars Hagberg
Published in Scand J Infect Dis
Volume 26
Issue 5
Pages 523-33
Publication year 1994
Published at Institute of Internal Medicine, Dept of Infectious Diseases
Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Dept of Clinical Virology
Pages 523-33
Language en
Keywords Adult, Aged, Biological Markers/cerebrospinal fluid, Biopterin/*analogs & derivatives/cerebrospinal fluid, Female, HIV Infections/*cerebrospinal fluid/drug therapy/*immunology, HIV Seropositivity/cerebrospinal fluid/immunology, HIV-1/*immunology, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Middle Aged, Monitoring, Immunologic, Neopterin, Zidovudine/therapeutic use, beta 2-Microglobulin/*cerebrospinal fluid
Subject categories Microbiology in the medical area


Markers of immune stimulation were studied in 76 sequential cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from 19 patients infected with HIV-1 without antiretroviral treatment during observation periods ranging from 22 months to 6 years. Eight of these patients were further followed with 14 CSF samples for 3-24 months of zidovudine treatment. During the course of HIV-1 infection, the mean CSF neopterin and beta 2-microglobulin (beta 2M) concentrations increased from 12.7 to 20.4 nmol/l (p < 0.01) and from 1.93 to 2.17 mg/l (p < 0.05), respectively, while the mean peripheral CD4 + T cell count decreased from 624 to 320 cells x 10(6)/l (p < 0.001). The IgG index, reflecting intrathecal immunoglobulin production, increased from 0.72 to 0.92 (p = 0.08). The number of patients with CSF pleocytosis did not change significantly during follow-up (8/19 at baseline, 7/19 at endpoint). In the 8 patients followed up during antiretroviral treatment, a significant reduction in mean CSF levels of neopterin and beta 2M (-48% and -32%, respectively, p < 0.01) was seen after 3-12 months on zidovudine. We suggest that gradual increase in immune stimulation reflected by the rising CSF concentrations of neopterin and beta 2M indicates that HIV-1 infection in the central nervous system is progressive even in neurologically asymptomatic stages.

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