IL-15 is essential for the development and differentiation of NK cells. It selectively induces proliferation of CD8 + memory T lymphocytes. Despite its importance in both innate and adaptive immune responses, little is known about its production in HIV-infected persons. We report here that IL-15 levels are significantly decreased in the sera of HIV-infected/AIDS patients compared to control sera. We also show that PBMC from the infected patients are compromised in their ability to respond with enhanced production of IL-15 upon exposure to HSV-1. The decreased production of IL-15 occurs despite a comparable increase in IL-15 mRNA in the PBMC of HIV-infected and healthy HIV-seronegative donors when exposed to HSV-1. The HSV-stimulated patients' PBMC exhibited less NK activity compared to similarly treated normal PBMC. These results suggest that a compromised ability of PBMC from HIV-infected individuals to induce IL-15 production in response to a viral stimulus may be a reason of their compromised innate and adaptive immunity.
- NK activity