Background: In vitro and clinical observations in HIV-infected patients receiving interferon α therapy have shown a reduction in HIV loads. Limited investigations have explored the innate or adaptive immune responses of IFN- α on SIV replication in vivo. Methods: Seven chronically infected rhesus macaques were given pegylated IFN-α 2a (n = four) or saline (n = three) injections once weekly for 14 weeks. Weekly peripheral blood samples were taken for safety parameters, viral load determinations, and measurements of innate and adaptive immune responses. Results: Pharmacokinetic measurements demonstrated therapeutic peg-IFN-α levels for the initial period of therapy and IFN-α inducible antiviral molecules were increased sporadically in the PBMC mRNA of the treatment group. Despite the demonstrable effect of the IFN-α injections, the treatment had no effect on plasma viral RNA levels. Conclusions: This work demonstrates that while short term IFN-α therapy induces innate antiviral immunity, it does not dramatically enhance or suppress viral replication. However, studies in the SIV model to determine therapeutic potential of chronic IFN-α therapy for the treatment of HIV will require macaque specific cytokines.
- Innate immune responses
- Interferon inducible molecules
- Pegylated interferon-α2a
- Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)
- TypeI interferons
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology