Twelve patients with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and Kaposi's sarcoma were treated with recombinant human γ-interferon (rIFN-γ). A rapid, substantial increase in the fraction of HLA-DQ-positive monocytes was noted after treatment with rIFN-γ. The rIFN-γ-induced increase in monocyte HLA-DQ was seen throughout the course of treatment, with the percentage of HLA-DQ-positive monocytes dropping slightly following each week's treatment with rIFN-γ and then rapidly increasing following the next course of treatment. Although the percentage of HLA-DR-positive monocytes was unchanged (HLA-DR was expressed on > 80% of monocytes prior to treatment), the density of HLA-DR on monocytes also increased following rIFN-γ treatment. Following rIFN-γ treatment, no changes were seen in CD3, CD4, CD8 T cell numbers, in T cell subset ratio (CD4/CD8), in Leu 7 or CD 16 (Leu 11) cell number, in spontaneous Ig secretion, in PHA-induced in vitro proliferation, or in NK activity. These results indicate that exposure to rIFN-γ in vivo led to the increased expression of class II antigens on monocytes in patients with AIDS.
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