An increase in the CD163+/CD16+ monocyte subset could be a biomarker for the progression of HIV disease, according to researchers at Temple University.
The researchers reported their findings, CD163/CD16 Coexpression by Circulating Monocytes/Macrophages in HIV: Potential Biomarkers for HIV Infection and AIDS Progression, in the March issue of AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses (www.liebertonline.com/aid).
A monocyte is a specific white blood cell, a part of the human bodys immune system that protects against blood-borne pathogens and moves quickly to sites of infection within the bodys tissues. As monocytes enter tissue, they undergo a series of changes to become macrophages.
The researchers were investigating alterations in this monocyte subset in patients with HIV infection. As part of this study, they examined a cohort of 18 patients from the Comprehensive HIV Program at Temple University Hospital, under the direction of Ellen Tedaldi, and seven individuals without HIV infection.
At first, we were just looking at whether or not we saw alterations in this CD163+/CD16+ subset and whether it might be reflective of the amount of virus they have in circulation, said Tracy Fischer-Smith, an associate scientist in Temples Neuroscience Department and the studys lead author. We did, indeed, find that patients with detectable virus had an increase of this monocyte subset that correlated with the amount of virus they had in their blood. We were surprised to find that patients with CD4+ T cell counts of less than 450 cells per microliter [200 or less per microliter is defined as AIDS], the increase of this monocyte subset correlates inversely with the number of T cells.
Fischer-Smith said this finding suggests that as the monocyte cells are increasing, these patients are losing CD4+ T cells, which are critical for the maintenance of immunological competence.
This may actually provide an earlier window into what is happ
|Contact: Preston M. Moretz|