Chemokines are chemoattractant cytokines involved in the immune response of a wide variety of diseases. There are few studies assessing their role in opportunistic infections in HIV-infected patients. In this study, we measured CC and CXC chemokines in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples obtained from 40 HIV-infected patients with or without opportunistic infections of the central nervous system (CNS). CSF samples were also analyzed for quantification of total protein, cell count and HIV-1 RNA. HIV+ patients with cryptococcal meningitis had higher levels of CCL2, CCL3, CCL5, CXCL9 and CXCL10 when compared to patients without opportunistic neurological infections. Furthermore, HIV+ patients with associated cryptococcal meningitis had higher levels of CCL3, CXCL9 and CXCL10 when compared to HIV+ patients with associated toxoplasmic encephalitis. CCL3 and CXCL9 levels were positively correlated with CSF HIV-1 RNA levels, CSF protein concentration, and CSF cell count. CXCL10 level was correlated with the CSF viral load and the CSF cell count and CCL5 level was correlated with the CSF cell count. In conclusion, the profile of chemokines in CSF of HIV patients may differ according to the modality of the presented opportunistic infection and according to other biological markers, such as viral load in CSF. These differences are probably related to different patterns of neuroinflammatory responses displayed by patients with different opportunistic neurological infections.
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