Expression of IL-18 by SIV does not modify the outcome of the antiviral immune response

Luis D. Giavedoni, M. Cristina Velasquillo, Laura M. Parodi, Gene B. Hubbard, Vida L. Hodara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Interleukin 18 (IL-18) is a proinflammatory cytokine expressed by several cell types, including activated dendritic cells and macrophages, that acts in synergy with IL-12 as an important amplifying factor for IFN-γ production and Th1 development. To study the immunological and virological effects of IL-18 expression in the context of a lentiviral infection, we inoculated rhesus macaques with a high dose of replication-competent simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) vectors carrying the rhesus IL-18 gene in the sense (SIVIL-18) or antisense (SIVFIGI) orientation. Both vectors behaved as attenuated viruses, resulting in low viral loads, induction of low and transient levels of inflammatory cytokines, no CD4+ T cell depletion, and mild activation of T lymphocytes. Although IL-18-expressing virus could be isolated from some SIVIL18-infected macaques for 12 weeks postinfection, the anti-SIV humoral and cellular immune responses of macaques inoculated with SIVIL18 and SIVFIGI were similar to each other, with the exception of an early IFN-γ response in animals infected with SIVIL18. In summary, expression of IL-18 during the acute phase of SIV infection does not increase viral replication or influence the outcome of the antiviral immune response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-337
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibodies
  • CTL
  • Cytokines
  • IL-18
  • Immune response
  • Live-attenuated virus
  • Proliferation
  • Rhesus macaques
  • SIV
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology


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