Influence of GBV-C infection on the endogenous activation of the IFN system in HIV-1 co-infected patients

M. R. Capobianchi, E. Lalle, F. Martini, F. Poccia, G. D'Offizi, G. Antonucci, I. Abbate, F. Dianzani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: GB virus C (GBV-C) co-infection is associated with a better prognosis in HIV-infected persons. Since interferon activation can be one of the possible mechanisms involved in GBV-C-driven protection against HIV, we compared the endogenous activation of the interferon system in PBMC from GBV-C-positive and - negative patients infected with HIV-1. Methods: The expression of interferon related genes was analyzed in 20 GBV-C positive and 20 GBV-C-negative HIV-infected patients, comparable in terms of CD4 cell counts and HIV viral loads. The levels of mRNA for interferon-related genes (2-5-OAS, MxA, interferon AR-1 and PKR) in PBMC were measured by real time RT-PCR, using β-actin as internal control. Results: The endogenous levels of all the interferon-related genes in HIV/GBV-C co-infected patients were higher than in HIV mono-infected subjects. The difference was statistically significant for PKR mRNA. Direct positive correlation was found between PKR and all the other interferon-related genes, suggesting a coordinated activation of the interferon system. Conclusions: Enhanced activation of the interferon system occurs in GBV-C-positive, as compared to GBV-C-negative patients harbouring HIV-1. These data may be relevant to understand the GBV-C-driven protection against HIV, suggesting that the endogenous activation of the interferon system can contribute to the control of HIV replication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-8
Number of pages6
JournalCellular and Molecular Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 15 2006


  • GB virus type C
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus
  • Interferon Activation
  • mRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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