Cytokine Expression and Hypertension Comorbidity in HIV/AIDS Patients at Kenyatta National Hospital HIV Care Centre, Nairobi, Kenya
Chronic inflammation in HIV disease is sustained by immune reconstitution that results from use of combination therapy by patients and manifested by increased expression of inflammatory cytokines. Chronic inflammation in HIV disease is associated with endothelial dysfunction of the cardio vasculature giving rise to reduced elasticity resulting in high blood pressure. This state is marked by increased IL-6 cytokine expression as manifested in patients with type 2 diabetes and hypertension. This study sought to establish cytokine expression in HIV seropositive patients with hypertension comorbidity and correlate with HIV/AIDS progression. We hypothesized that chronic inflammation and presence of hypertension comorbidity presents higher levels of expression of selected interleukins namely IL-6, IL-8 and IL-17A. This study demonstrated that the IL-6 cytokine expression have a positive correlation with the release of IL-8 cytokine as patients with higher IL-6 cytokine values were more likely to have higher IL-8 cytokine levels. This shows that a synergistic effect from both cytokines may accelerate the development of atherosclerosis on blood vessels. Therefore routine measurement of these cytokines may increase prediction of risk of development of hypertension in patients on HIV care.