Use of cytokines in HIV: colony-stimulating factors, erythropoietin, and interleukin-2

The recombinant human cytokines granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), erythropoietin, and interleukin-2 (IL-2) have been manufactured and licensed.

Studies have been carried out that investigate the use of G-CSF and GM-CSF to reverse leukopenia, as adjunctive therapy for HIV-associated infections and for novel approaches to treat HIV infection, including stem cell mobilization. In addition, studies that identified the role of erythropoietin in the management of anaemia have been performed.

Furthermore, the abilities of G-CSF and erythropoietin to permit the continued use of marrow suppressive agents that are key in managing HIV infection have been assessed. The aim of this review is to summarize these studies and to describe the reports that evaluate the use of IL-2 to enhance elevation of CD4 cell counts mediated by highly active antiretroviral therapy. This summary is important to the treating clinician in that it identifies the optimal use of these cytokines in current clinical practice as well as their potential future roles.


Armstrong WS, Kazanjian P. Clin Infect Dis 2001 Mar 1;32(5):766-773

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