Regulation and characterization of the interferon-α present in patients with advanced human immunodeficiency virus type 1 disease

Susan Swindells, Tonia Baldwin, Colleen Kelly, Lisa Baca-Regen, Larry Loomis, Diane Post, Beda Brichacek, Mario Stevenson, Edward A. Dominguez, Ramakrishna Reddy, Rose Klein, Mei June Liao, Douglas Testa, Thomas Mcdonald, Joseph Bellanti, Simon Skurkovich, Howard E. Gendelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


To examine a possible association between plasma viremia and interferon- α (IFN-α) in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), we performed IFN plasma immunoadsorption by apheresis (IFN-α apheresis) in four volunteers with AIDS who had sustained levels of endogenous plasma IFN- α. IFN-α apheresis with two plasma volume exchanges was performed daily for 5 days. Clinical signs and symptoms and hematologic, virologic, and immunologic parameters were monitored. Two subjects developed anemia from phlebotomy, and one had a catheter-associated bacteremia. The IFN-α apheresis was effective only in transiently removing IFN-α: depletion of IFN-α led only to its rapid reconstitution. Cell-associated HIV-1 was unchanged, but three of four subjects had a modest decrease in culturable plasma virus burden following the procedures. The recovery of in vivo HIV-1- related IFN-α by apheresis allowed its biologic and biochemical characterization. The HIV-1 IFN-α showed characteristics on ELISA, western blot, and biologic assays similar to two subspecies of the natural protein. The natural, recombinant, and HIV-1-induced IFN-αs demonstrated nearly identical antiviral activities. The HIV-1 IFN-α eluted from the column was not acid labile. The inability of large amounts of plasma IFN-α found in some patients with AIDS to affect viral burden likely reflects properties of the virus or of host factors independent of IFN-α.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-137
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Interferon and Cytokine Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology
  • Virology


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