Association of NFκB and related-cytokines with the viral load and development of antibodies against HHV-8 in people living with HIV/AIDS

Research paper by Juliana Prado Gonçales, Thaísa Regina Rocha Lopes, Virginia Maria Barros de Lorena, Melayne Rocha Aciole, José Valter Joaquim Silva Júnior, Tania Regina Tozetto-Mendoza, Paulo Henrique Braz-Silva, Maria Rosangela Cunha Duarte Coêlho

Indexed on: 22 Jan '21Published on: 04 Oct '19Published in: Medical Microbiology and Immunology


Human gammaherpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) replication is influenced by a complex interaction between viral and host elements. Here, we evaluated the expression of NFκB and TNF-α in B (CD19 +) and T (CD3 +) lymphocytes, and the serum concentration of IL-1β and IL-12 cytokines in people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA), negative for HHV-8-related diseases, and who presented antibodies to latent or lytic antigens from HHV-8. In addition, we also evaluated the correlation of HHV-8 viral load with NFκB, TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-12 levels. The expression of NFκB (p < 0.0001) or TNF-α (p < 0.0001) in B lymphocytes (CD19 +) and the IL-1β (p < 0.0266) and IL-12 (p < 0.0001) concentrations were associated with the presence of antibodies to HHV-8 lytic antigens. The CD19 + NFκB + TNF-α + and CD3 + NFκB + TNF-α + cells were also associated with the presence of antibodies to lytic infection (p < 0.0001). Among all PLHA evaluated, only individuals with the highest titers of lytic antibodies, i.e., 1:320, had detectable HHV-8 viral load. In these, HHV-8 viral load was correlated to NFκB (r = 0.6, p = 0.003) and TNF-α (r = 0.5, p = 0.01) (both in CD19 + lymphocytes) and with IL-1β (r = 0.5, p = 0.01) and IL-12 (r = 0.6, p = 0.006) levels. We believe that viral replication and/or reactivation, in addition to being associated with the development of lytic antibodies against HHV-8, may be associated with inflammatory response via NFκB. Finally, although immune response imbalance has been previously related to HHV-8-associated diseases, our results indicate that important changes in immunity, mainly in the inflammatory response, may be clearly observed in individuals with HHV-8, but who have not yet presented clinical manifestations.

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