Pleiotrophin (PTN) is a polypeptide that belongs to a family of heparin-binding growth factors; it displays mitogenic activity for a wide variety of cells. In a previous study, we reported that PTN induces the stimulation of expression of inflammatory cytokines, including tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-), interleukin (IL)-1 and IL-6, in quiescent human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) through B-lymphocyte binding. These results emphasize the importance of PTN in the regulation of inflammatory processes. Moreover, using infection of PBMCs or using PBMCs from AIDS patients, we showed that PTN was sufficient to induce human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication. Moreover, neutralization of TNF-, IL-1 and IL-6 suppressed HIV replication in PTN-stimulated PBMCs. As these cytokines are potent upregulators of virus expression, these results should prove useful in investigating the role of PTN as a host factor in the regulation of pathological disorders in HIV-1 infection. Identification of this host factor could be important for understanding HIV disease and designating therapeutic approaches.


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