, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 215–225 | Cite as

Use of Interleukin-2 in Immunotherapy of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection

Review Article Immunology-Based Agent


Interleukin-2 (IL-2) is a cytokine produced by activated T cells. Its stimulatory activity allows T cells, B cells and natural killer cells to proliferate and to release cytokines and antibodies which protect the host against invading organisms. IL-2 plays a critical role in the prevention of apoptosis of HIV-infected cells, and the addition of IL-2 to a culture medium will increase the survival of T cells and will upregulate IL-2 receptor function.

Clinical studies of the administration of exogenous IL-2 to HIV-infected patients have demonstrated that it can be given in well tolerated doses and that it can increase and sustain the number of CD4+ cells while only transiently affecting viral proliferation, especially when given to patients with CD4+ counts >200 cells/mm3.

Further investigations are required to determine the optimal use of exogenous IL-2 in HIV-infected patients. There may also be an important role for IL-2 as an adjunct to gene therapy and preventive vaccines against HIV infection.


Human Immunodeficiency Virus Natural Killer Cell Adis International Limited Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MedicineUCLA Center for Clinical AIDS Research and EducationLos AngelesUSA

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