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HIV and cardiovascular diseases risk: exploring the interplay between T-cell activation, coagulation, monocyte subsets, and lipid subclass alterations.

Abstract

Although rollout of combined antiretroviral treatment (cART) has blunted human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) onset, there is increased development of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in HIV-infected individuals. While most HIV-infected individuals on cART achieve viral suppression, this may not necessarily result in complete immunological recovery. This study therefore evaluated T-cell-mediated changes and coagulation markers in HIV-positive individuals to ascertain their potential to increase CVD risk. Eighty participants were recruited (Worcester, South Africa), and fasted blood was collected to evaluate: 1) immune activation (CD38 expression on CD4+ and CD8+ T cells) and thrombus formation [tissue factor (CD142)] on CD4+ and CD8+ T cells; 2) monocyte subpopulations (nonclassical, intermediate, and classical); and 3) classical regulatory T (Treg) cells with activation markers [glycoprotein A repetitions predominant (GARP) and special AT-rich sequence-binding protein 1 (SATB-1)]. High- and low-density lipoprotein subclasses (Lipoprint) were also determined. This study revealed four key findings for HIV-positive patients: 1) coexpression of the CD142 coagulation marker together with immune activation on both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells during chronic infection stages; 2) Treg cell activation and upregulated GARP and SATB-1 contributing to Treg dysfunction in chronic HIV; 3) proatherogenic monocyte subset expansion with significant correlation between T-cell activation and macrophage activation (marker: CD163); and 4) significant correlation between immune activation and lipid subclasses, revealing crucial changes that can be missed by traditional lipid marker assessments (LDL and HDL). These data also implicate lipopolysaccharide-binding protein as a crucial link between immune activation, lipid alterations, and increased CVD risk. NEW & NOTEWORTHY With combined antiretroviral treatment rollout, HIV-AIDS patients are increasingly associated with cardiovascular diseases onset. This study demonstrated the significant interplay between adaptive immune cell activation and monocyte/macrophage markers in especially HIV-positive individuals with virological failure and on second line treatment. Our data also show a unique link between immune activation and lipid subclass alterations, revealing important changes that can be missed by traditional lipid marker assessments (e.g., LDL and HDL).

Authors: Teer E, Joseph DE, Driescher N, Nell TA, Dominick L, Midgley N, Deshpande G, Page MJ, Pretorius E, Woudberg NJ, Lecour S, Glashoff RH, Essop MF.
Journal: Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2019 May 1;316(5):H1146-H1157
Year: 2019
PubMed: Find in PubMed