C. PÉREZ-MALDONADO1, M. Hernandez 2, I. Caragol 2 y T. Español 2. 1Immunology Lab. Faculty of Pharmacy. Universidad de Los Andes (Venezuela); 2Laboratorio de Inmunología, Hospital General, Hospitals Vall d'hebron, Barcelona (Spain).

Background: Chemokines are proinflammatory cytokines that attract and activate specific leukocyte subsets which receptors are used as coreceptors by some AIDS-related viral strains. CCR5 the specific ligand for b-chemokine RANTES  is used by HIV-1.  Increased levels of plasma   RANTES have been associated   with HIV-1 infection resistance and immune recovery. Material and Methods: In a group of 28 non-infected children (age-control) and 35 vertically infected children under HAART (mean: 9 years), we evaluated   CCR5 expression and RANTES synthesis. Also CD4+, CD8+, CD8/RA-, CD8/38+, CD8/28-, CD8/45HLA lymphocytes subsets, CCR5 expression and intracellular production   of IL-2 and IFNg  were determined by Flow Cytometry (FCM). Plasma and cell culture supernatant´s levels of RANTES were assesed by ELISA. Results: Mean values in Group I (1 to 6 years) and Group II (> of 6 years) of infected children were: CD4+: 901 and 538 cel./ml. CD8+: 1443 and 1043 cel./ml., respectively. Basal expression of CCR5 was 18% and RANTES plasma level was 1025 pg/ml. Control groups mean values were: CD4+: 1172 and 849 cel./ml. CD8+: 839 and 703 cel./ml., respectively and their CCR5 basal expression was 38 %  with plasma level of  RANTES was 687 pg/ml. Conclusion: An important RANTES augment in the infected children groups was accompanied by an improvement of the CD4+ / CD8+ index during the post HAART period. RANTES levels during HAART could a reliable indicator of immune recovery in the HIV-1 infection.

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