Substance P (sP) and Somatostatin (SOM), so as other neuropeptides can modulate neurologic and immunologic functions. sP has been described to enhance both in vitro and in vivo immunoglobulin synthesis. On the contrary, SOM has an inhibitory effect on the same activity. The modulating effect is more evident on IgA isotype. Hypergammaglobulinemia and in particular high levels of IgA is a common finding in pediatric AIDS and an imbalance among regulatory effects of neuropeptides might be suggested. In order to evaluate the plasma levels of sP in pediatric AIDS we studied 15 children with HIV infection (status P2), 10 seronegative children born to HIV positive mothers and 10 healthy children of the same age. All the HIV positive children had high plasma levels of IgG and IgA. The plasma level of sP was extremely higher in HIV positive children while no significant difference was found between seronegative children born to HIV positive mothers and healthy children. SOM was decreased in HIV positive children when compared to control groups but a significant difference was not reached. It might be supposed that HIV infection, through a dysregulation among neuropeptides interferes on immune functions and in particular on IgA synthesis. On the other hand it might be suggested that the imbalance between sP and SOM depends on the viral infection of immune cells since it has been demonstrated that SOM and other neuropeptide are synthesized by lymphoid tissue. Further studied relevance of neuropeptide disorders in pediatric AIDS.
Changed levels of substance P and somatostatin in HIV-positive children / Azzari C; Rossi ME; Resti M; Caldini AL; Lega L; Galli L; Fico E; Vierucci A.. - In: PEDIATRIA MEDICA E CHIRURGICA. - ISSN 0391-5387. - STAMPA. - 14(6):(1992), pp. 577-581.