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1.  Test Performance of Blood Beta-Glucan for Pneumocystis Jirovecii Pneumonia in Patients with AIDS and Respiratory Symptoms 
AIDS (London, England)  2013;27(6):967-972.
To define the test characteristics of plasma beta-glucan for diagnosis of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia in AIDS patients with respiratory symptoms.
Analysis of baseline blood samples in a randomized strategy study of patients with acute opportunistic infections, limited to participants with respiratory symptoms.
Participants in the 282-person ACTG A5164 trial had baseline plasma samples assayed for beta-glucan testing. As part of A5164, two study investigators independently adjudicated the diagnosis of PCP. Respiratory symptoms were identified by investigators from a list of all signs and symptoms with an onset or resolution in the 21 days prior to or 14 days following study entry. Beta-glucan was defined as positive if ≥80 pg/mL and negative if <80 pg/mL.
Of 252 study participants with a beta-glucan result, 159 had at least one respiratory symptom, 139 of whom had a diagnosis of PCP. The sensitivity of beta-glucan for PCP in participants with respiratory symptoms was 92.8% (95% CI: 87.2%–96.5%), and specificity 75.0% (50.9%–91.3%). Among 134 individuals with positive beta-glucan and respiratory symptoms, 129 had PCP, for a positive predictive value of 96.3% (91.5%–98.8%). Fifteen of 25 patients with a normal beta-glucan did not have PCP, for a negative predictive value of 60% (38.7%–78.9%).
Elevated plasma beta-glucan has a high predictive value for diagnosis of PCP in AIDS patients with respiratory symptoms. We propose an algorithm for the use of beta-glucan as a diagnostic tool based on the pretest probability of PCP in such patients.
PMCID: PMC4181577  PMID: 23698062
Beta-glucan; HIV; Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; Pneumocystis; Pneumonia; Predictive Value of Tests
2.  Blunted lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation during moderate exercise in HIV-infected subjects taking HAART 
The protease inhibitor (PI) ritonavir (RTV) has been associated with elevated resting lipolytic rate, hyperlipidemia, and insulin resistance/glucose intolerance. The purpose of this study was to examine relationships between lipolysis and fatty acid (FA) oxidation during rest, moderate exercise and recovery, and measures of insulin sensitivity/glucose tolerance and fat redistribution in HIV-positive subjects taking RTV (n = 12), HAART but no PI (n = 10), and HIV-seronegative controls (n = 10). Stable isotope tracers [1-13C]palmitate and [1,1,2,3,3- 2H5]glycerol were continuously infused with blood and breath collection during 1-h rest, 70-min submaximal exercise (50%V̇ O2 peak), and 1-h recovery. Body composition was evaluated using DEXA, MRI, and MRS, and 2-h oral glucose tolerance tests with insulin monitoring were used to evaluate glucose tolerance and insulin resistance. Lipolytic and FA oxidation rates were similar during rest and recovery in all groups; however, they were lower during moderate exercise in both HIV-infected groups [glycerol Ra: HIV + RTV 5.1 ± 1.2 vs. HIV + no PI 5.9 ± 2.8 vs. Control 7.4 ± 2.2 µmol·kg fat-free mass (FFM)−1 · min−1; palmitate oxidation: HIV + RTV 1.6 ± 0.8 vs. HIV + no PI 1.6 ± 0.8 vs. Control 2.5 ± 1.7 µmol·kg FFM·min, P < 0.01]. Fasting and orally-challenged glucose and insulin values were similar among groups. Lipolytic and FA oxidation rates were blunted during moderate exercise in HIV-positive subjects taking HAART. Lower FA oxidation during exercise was primarily due to impaired plasma FA oxidation, with a minor contribution from lower nonplasma FA oxidation. Regional differences in adipose tissue lipolysis during rest and moderate exercise may be important in HIV and warrant further study.
PMCID: PMC3935339  PMID: 17106066
human immunodeficiency virus; highly active antiretroviral therapy; ritonavir; lipodystrophy; insulin resistance; metabolic syndrome; mass spectrometry
3.  Decreased limb muscle and increased central adiposity are associated with 5-year all-cause mortality in HIV infection 
AIDS (London, England)  2011;25(11):1405-1414.
Unintentional loss of weight and muscle due to aging and disease has been associated with increased mortality. Wasting and weight loss occur in HIV infection even in the modern era of effective antiretroviral therapy.
We determined the association of MRI-measured regional and total skeletal muscle and adipose tissue with 5-year, all-cause mortality in 922 HIV-infected persons in the study of Fat Redistribution and Metabolic Change in HIV Infection (FRAM).
After 5 years of follow-up, HIV-infected participants with arm skeletal muscle in the lowest tertile had a mortality rate of 23%, compared with 11 and 8% for those in the middle and highest tertiles. After multivariable adjustment for demographics, cardiovascular risk factors, HIV-related factors, inflammatory markers, and renal disease, we found that lower arm skeletal muscle, lower leg skeletal muscle and higher visceral adipose tissue (VAT) were each independently associated with increased mortality. Those in the lowest tertile of arm or leg skeletal muscle had higher odds of death [arm: odds ratio (OR)=2.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.96–4.0; leg: OR=2.4, 95% CI 1.2–4.8] compared with the highest respective tertiles. Those in the highest tertile of VAT had 2.1-fold higher odds of death (95% CI 1.1–4.0) compared with the lowest VAT tertile.
Lower muscle mass and central adiposity appear to be important risk factors for mortality in HIV-infected individuals. A substantial proportion of this risk may be unrecognized because of the current reliance on body mass index in clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC3933309  PMID: 21572308
body composition; cachexia; fat redistribution; HIV infection; lipoatrophy; lipodystrophy; mortality; sarcopenia
4.  Class-Sparing Regimens for Initial Treatment of HIV-1 Infection 
The New England journal of medicine  2008;358(20):10.1056/NEJMoa074609.
The use of either efavirenz or lopinavir–ritonavir plus two nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) is recommended for initial therapy for patients with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection, but which of the two regimens has greater efficacy is not known. The alternative regimen of lopinavir–ritonavir plus efavirenz may prevent toxic effects associated with NRTIs.
In an open-label study, we compared three regimens for initial therapy: efavirenz plus two NRTIs (efavirenz group), lopinavir–ritonavir plus two NRTIs (lopinavir–ritonavir group), and lopinavir–ritonavir plus efavirenz (NRTI-sparing group). We randomly assigned 757 patients with a median CD4 count of 191 cells per cubic millimeter and a median HIV-1 RNA level of 4.8 log10 copies per milliliter to the three groups.
At a median follow-up of 112 weeks, the time to virologic failure was longer in the efavirenz group than in the lopinavir–ritonavir group (P = 0.006) but was not significantly different in the NRTI-sparing group from the time in either of the other two groups. At week 96, the proportion of patients with fewer than 50 copies of plasma HIV-1 RNA per milliliter was 89% in the efavirenz group, 77% in the lopinavir–ritonavir group, and 83% in the NRTI-sparing group (P = 0.003 for the comparison between the efavirenz group and the lopinavir–ritonavir group). The groups did not differ significantly in the time to discontinuation because of toxic effects. At virologic failure, antiretroviral resistance mutations were more frequent in the NRTI-sparing group than in the other two groups.
Virologic failure was less likely in the efavirenz group than in the lopinavir–ritonavir group. The virologic efficacy of the NRTI-sparing regimen was similar to that of the efavirenz regimen but was more likely to be associated with drug resistance. ( number, NCT00050895.)
PMCID: PMC3885902  PMID: 18480202
5.  Blood (1→3)-β-D-Glucan as a Diagnostic Test for HIV-Related Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia 
In a large group of HIV-infected clinical trial participants with diverse opportunistic infections, blood beta-glucan was a more sensitive noninvasive test for PCP than serum LDH; sensitivity was also higher than that frequently reported for induced sputum examinations.
(See the editorial commentary by Morris and Masur, on pages 203–204.)
Background. Improved noninvasive diagnostic tests for Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) are needed. We evaluated the test characteristics of plasma (1→3)-β-D-glucan (β-glucan) for HIV-related PCP among a large group of patients presenting with diverse opportunistic infections (OIs).
Methods. The study population included all 282 participants in AIDS Clinical Trials Group A5164, a study of early versus deferred antiretroviral therapy in conjunction with initial therapy of acute OIs. Baseline plasma samples were assayed for β-glucan, with standard assay reference values defining ≥80 pg/mL as positive. Before this analysis, diagnosis of PCP was independently adjudicated by 2 study investigators after reviewing reports from study sites.
Results. A total of 252 persons had a β-glucan result that could be analyzed, 173 (69%) of whom had received a diagnosis of PCP. Median β-glucan with PCP was 408 pg/mL (interquartile range [IQR], 209–500 pg/mL), compared with 37 pg/mL (IQR, 31–235 pg/mL) without PCP (P < .001). The sensitivity of β-glucan dichotomized at 80 pg/mL for the diagnosis of PCP was 92% (95% confidence interval [CI], 87%–96%), and the specificity was 65% (95% CI, 53%–75%); positive and negative predictive values were 85% (95% CI, 79%–90%) and 80% (95% CI, 68%–89%) respectively, based on the study prevalence of 69% of patients with PCP. Rates of abnormal lactate dehyrogenase levels did not differ significantly between those with and without PCP.
Conclusions. Blood (1→3)-β-D-glucan is strongly correlated with HIV-related PCP. In some clinical centers, this may be a more sensitive test than the induced sputum examination and could reduce the need for both bronchoscopy and empirical therapy of PCP.
PMCID: PMC3165964  PMID: 21690628
6.  Insulin Resistance in HIV Protease Inhibitor–Associated Diabetes 
Fasting hyperglycemia has been associated with HIV protease inhibitor (PI) therapy.
To determine whether absolute insulin deficiency or insulin resistance with relative insulin deficiency and an elevated body mass index (BMI) contribute to HIV PI–associated diabetes.
Cross-sectional evaluation.
8 healthy seronegative men, 10 nondiabetic HIV-positive patients naive to PI, 15 nondiabetic HIV-positive patients receiving PI (BMI = 26 kg/m2), 6 nondiabetic HIV-positive patients receiving PI (BMI = 31 kg/m2), and 8 HIV-positive patients with diabetes receiving PI (BMI = 34 kg/m2). All patients on PI received indinavir.
Fasting concentrations of glucoregulatory hormones. Direct effects of indinavir (20 μM) on rat pancreatic [beta]-cell function in vitro.
In hyperglycemic HIV-positive subjects, circulating concentrations of insulin, C-peptide, proinsulin, glucagon, and the proinsulin/insulin ratio were increased when compared with those of the other 4 groups (p < .05). Morning fasting serum cortisol concentrations were not different among the 5 groups. Glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) antibody titers were uncommon in all groups. High BMI was not always associated with diabetes. In vitro, indinavir did not inhibit proinsulin to insulin conversion or impair glucose-induced secretion of insulin and C-peptide from rat [beta]-cells.
The pathogenesis of HIV PI–associated diabetes involves peripheral insulin resistance with insulin deficiency relative to hyperglucagonemia and a high BMI. Pancreatic [beta]-cell function was not impaired by indinavir. HIV PI–associated diabetes mirrors that of non–insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and impaired insulin action in the periphery.
PMCID: PMC3182110  PMID: 10421244
AIDS; Metabolic complications; Glucose metabolism; Pancreatic [beta]-cells; Insulin release
7.  Increased plasma Gln and Leu Ra and inappropriately low muscle protein synthesis rate in AIDS wasting 
The American journal of physiology  1998;275(4 Pt 1):E577-E583.
Muscle protein wasting occurs in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals and is often the initial indication of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Little is known about the alterations in muscle protein metabolism that occur with HIV infection. Nine subjects with AIDS wasting (CD4 < 200/mm3), chronic stable opportunistic infections (OI), and ≥10% weight loss, fourteen HIV-infected men and one woman (CD4 > 200/mm3) without wasting or OI (asymptomatic), and six HIV-seronegative lean men (control) received a constant intravenous infusion of [1-13C]leucine (Leu) and [2-15N]glutamine (Gln). Plasma Leu and Gln rate of appearance (Ra), whole body Leu turnover, disposal and oxidation rates, and [13C]Leu incorporation rate into mixed muscle protein were assessed. Total body muscle mass/fat-free mass was greater in controls (53%) than in AIDS wasting (43%; P = 0.04). Fasting whole body proteolysis and synthesis rates were increased above control in the HIV+ asymptomatic group and in the AIDS-wasting group (P = 0.009). Whole body Leu oxidation rate was greater in the HIV+ asymptomatic group than in the control and AIDS-wasting groups (P < 0.05). Fasting mixed muscle protein synthesis rate was increased in the asymptomatic subjects (0.048%/h; P = 0.01) but was similar in AIDS-wasting and control subjects (0.035 vs. 0.037%/h). Plasma Gln Ra was increased in AIDS-wasting subjects but was similar in control and HIV+ asymptomatic subjects (P < 0.001). These findings suggest that AIDS wasting results from 1) a preferential reduction in muscle protein, 2) a failure to sustain an elevated rate of mixed muscle protein synthesis while whole body protein synthesis is increased, and 3) a significant increase in Gln release into the circulation, probably from muscle. Several interesting explanations for the increased Gln Ra in AIDS wasting exist.
PMCID: PMC3177303  PMID: 9755075
acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-wasting syndrome; immune cell function; amino acid metabolism; metabolic complications; stable isotopes; mass spectrometry; leucine; glutamine
8.  Serum Leptin Concentrations in Human Immunodeficiency Virus–Infected Men With Low Adiposity 
The product of the obese gene (ob) is the protein leptin, which is synthesized in and secreted from adipocytes. Fasting serum leptin concentrations are closely related to body fat content and are higher in obese than in normal-weight individuals. Leptin may contribute to body weight regulation. Overproduction of leptin in certain pathologic conditions such as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) might in principle contribute to the low body fat content associated with body wasting. We measured fasting serum leptin levels by radioimmunoassay in individuals infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and in a group of healthy lean men to determine whether HIV infection increases leptin levels. Thirteen HIV-infected men aged 26 to 50 years with a body mass index (BMI) of 15 to 26 kg/m2 and 4 to 24 kg body fat (7% to 29% body fat) had serum leptin levels (3.4 ± 1.6 ng/mL) that were not elevated compared with the levels in 17 healthy men (4.0 ± 1.4 ng/mL) matched for age (23 to 47 years), BMI (18 to 26 kg/m2), and body fat (5 to 21 kg; 9% to 28%). In both groups of men, serum leptin concentrations were correlated with percent body fat and body fat content (P < .001), and these relationships were not different between the two groups. In both groups, leptin concentrations were not correlated with lean body mass (P ≥ .24). Energy intake in the HIV-infected men, assessed from 3-day intake records, was within the normal range. These findings extend the hypothesis that circulating leptin concentrations directly reflect adipose tissue mass, even in HIV-infected men with low body fat content. These findings do not support the hypothesis that HIV infection is associated with high circulating leptin concentrations, and suggest that low leptin levels do not stimulate food intake in HIV-infected individuals.
PMCID: PMC3176667  PMID: 9054474
9.  Accelerated bone mineral loss in HIV-infected patients receiving potent antiretroviral therapy 
AIDS (London, England)  2000;14(4):F63-F67.
The use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has been associated with multiple metabolic complications whose pathogenesis is poorly understood at the present time.
We performed a cross-sectional analysis of whole-body, lumbar spine (L1 – L4) and proximal femur bone mineral density in 112 male subjects (HIV-infected patients on HAART that included a protease inhibitor, HIV-infected patients not receiving a protease inhibitor and healthy seronegative adults) using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry.
Men receiving protease inhibitors had a higher incidence of osteopenia and osteoporosis according to World Health Organization definitions: relative risk = 2.19 (95% confidence interval 1.13–4.23) (P = 0.02). Subjects receiving protease inhibitors had greater central : appendicular adipose tissue ratios than the other two groups (P < 0.0001). There was no relationship between the central : appendicular fat ratio and the lumbar spine or proximal femur bone mineral density t- or z- scores, suggesting that osteoporosis and body fat redistribution are independent side effects of HAART.
Osteopenia and osteoporosis are unique metabolic complications associated with protease inhibitor-containing potent antiretroviral regimens, that appear to be independent of adipose tissue maldistribution.
PMCID: PMC3170993  PMID: 10770534
bone mineral metabolism; bone densitometry; osteoporosis; adiposity; aspartyl protease inhibitors; HIV infection
10.  Reducing plasma HIV RNA improves muscle amino acid metabolism 
We reported (Yarasheski KE, Zachwieja JJ, Gischler J, Crow-ley J, Horgan MM, and Powderly WG. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 275: E577–E583, 1998) that AIDS muscle wasting was associated with an inappropriately low rate of muscle protein synthesis and an elevated glutamine rate of appearance (Ra Gln). We hypothesized that high plasma HIV RNA caused dysregulation of muscle amino acid metabolism. We determined whether a reduction in HIV RNA (≥1 log) increased muscle protein synthesis rate and reduced Ra Gln and muscle proteasome activity in 10 men and 1 woman (22–57 yr, 60–108 kg, 17–33 kg muscle) with advanced HIV (CD4 = 0–311 cells/μl; HIV RNA = 10–375 × 103 copies/ml). We utilized stable isotope tracer methodologies ([13C]Leu and [15N]Gln) to measure the fractional rate of mixed muscle protein synthesis and plasma Ra Gln in these subjects before and 4 mo after initiating their first or a salvage antiretroviral therapy regimen. After treatment, median CD4 increased (98 vs. 139 cells/μl, P = 0.009) and median HIV RNA was reduced (155,828 vs. 100 copies/ml, P = 0.003). Mixed muscle protein synthesis rate increased (0.062 ± 0.005 vs. 0.078 ± 0.006%/h, P = 0.01), Ra Gln decreased (387 ± 33 vs. 323 ± 15 μmol·kg fat-free mass−1·h−1, P = 0.04), and muscle proteasome chymotrypsin-like catalytic activity was reduced 14% (P = 0.03). Muscle mass was only modestly increased (1 kg, P = not significant). We estimated that, for each 10,000 copies/ml reduction in HIV RNA, ~3 g of additional muscle protein are synthesized per day. These findings suggest that reducing HIV RNA increases muscle protein synthesis and reduces muscle proteolysis, but muscle protein synthesis relative to whole body protein synthesis rate is not restored to normal, so muscle mass is not substantially increased.
PMCID: PMC3170408  PMID: 15367396
human immunodeficiency virus; metabolic complications; body composition; mass spectrometry; antiretroviral medications; cachexia; lentivirus
11.  Association of Upper Trunk and Visceral Adipose Tissue Volume With Insulin Resistance in Control and HIV-Infected Subjects in the FRAM Study 
Visceral obesity is associated with insulin resistance, but the association of other regional adipose depots with insulin resistance is not understood. In HIV infection, buffalo hump (upper trunk fat) is associated, but the association of upper trunk fat with insulin resistance has not been examined in controls. To determine the independent association of adipose depots other than visceral with insulin resistance, we performed a cross-sectional analysis of controls and HIV-infected subjects in the Fat Redistribution and Metabolic Change in HIV Infection (FRAM) study, who had measurements of glucose, insulin, and adipose tissue volumes by whole-body magnetic resonance imaging. We studied 926 HIV-positive persons from 16 academic medical center clinics and trials units with demographic characteristics representative of US patients with HIV infection and 258 FRAM controls from the population-based Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study. We measured visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) volume in the legs, arms, lower trunk (back and abdomen), and upper trunk (back and chest) and assessed their association with the homeostasis model of assessment (HOMA) and HOMA >4 by stepwise multivariable analysis. The prevalence of HOMA >4 as a marker of insulin resistance was 28% among controls compared with 37% among HIV-infected subjects (P = 0.005). Among controls, those in the highest tertile of upper trunk SAT volume had an odds ratio (OR) of 9.0 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.4 to 34; P = 0.001) for having HOMA >4 compared with the lowest tertile, whereas in HIV-positive subjects, the OR was lower (OR = 2.09, 95% CI: 1.36 to 3.19; P = 0.001). Among controls, the highest tertile of VAT volume had an OR of 12.1 (95% CI: 3.2 to 46; P = 0.0002) of having HOMA >4 compared with the lowest tertile, whereas in HIV-positive subjects, the OR was 3.12 (95% CI: 2.0 to 4.8; P < 0.0001). After adjusting for VAT and upper trunk SAT, the association of other SAT depots with HOMA >4 did not reach statistical significance. Thus, VAT and upper trunk SAT are independently associated with insulin resistance in controls and in HIV-infected persons.
PMCID: PMC3164883  PMID: 18167644
buffalo hump; fat distribution; insulin resistance; lipodystrophy; visceral obesity
12.  Insulin resistance predicts endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular risk in HIV-infected persons on long-term highly active antiretroviral therapy 
AIDS (London, England)  2008;22(7):849-856.
Cardiovascular disease risk among persons with HIV is likely multifactorial, thus testing a variety of available noninvasive vascular ultrasound and other surrogate tests may yield differing results. To address this issue, we assessed multiple metabolic and clinical predictors of endothelial function and carotid intima–media thickness in HIV-infected subjects and compared results with HIV-negative controls.
Prospective, cross-sectional study of 50 HIV-infected, healthy adults on stable highly active antiretroviral therapy matched to 50 HIV-negative controls by age, sex, race, and body mass index.
Flow-mediated vasodilation of the brachial artery, carotid intima–media thickness, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (HIV-infected subjects), and fasting insulin, lipids, and oral glucose tolerance tests were performed. Results were compared between HIV-infected and control groups.
Fifty percent of subjects were African–American with 34% women. Among HIV-infected, mean CD4 cell count was 547 cells/ µl; 90% had HIV RNA less than 50 copies/ml. There were no significant differences between HIV-infected and control subjects with regard to brachial artery flow-mediated vasodilation or carotid intima–media thickness. In multivariate analyses of the HIV cohort, independent predictors of endothelial dysfunction (lower flow-mediated vasodilation) were increasing insulin resistance, greater alcohol consumption, and higher baseline brachial artery diameter (P < 0.05); predictors of increased carotid intima–media thickness were hypertension, higher trunk/limb fat ratio, and insulin resistance (P < 0.05).
In this HIV cohort on modern highly active antiretroviral therapy with well controlled HIV, there were no significant differences with regard to preclinical markers of cardiovascular disease. Insulin resistance was a strong predictor of impaired brachial artery flow-mediated vasodilation and increased carotid intima–media thickness, and may be an important cardiovascular disease risk factor in the HIV population.
PMCID: PMC3166228  PMID: 18427203
endothelial dysfunction; HIV; insulin resistance
13.  GM-CSF Fails to Improve Immune Responses to Booster Hepatitis B Vaccination in HIV-Infected Individuals 
The Open Virology Journal  2011;5:109-113.
Hepatitis B (HBV) vaccination is an important preventive intervention for HIV-infected population. Data regarding booster HBV vaccine for persons with low HBV surface antibody (sAb) titers after vaccination in this immunocompromised population is lacking.
We randomized 60 HIV-infected subjects lacking HBV protection after completion of 3 doses of HBV vaccine to receive a booster dose of HBV vaccine with 250mcg GM-CSF as an adjuvant or booster vaccine alone.
GM-CSF was safe with expected side effects. However, only 35% of persons receiving GM-CSF developed protective sAb while 50% in vaccine only arm developed protection (P = 0.47). Overall, only 28% of subjects maintained protective sAb 1 year after vaccination.
GM-CSF failed to improve responses to the booster HBV vaccination. Overall, response was poor with only 42% of persons responding at one month post-vaccination confirming booster vaccination with the current HBV vaccine has poor immunogenicity among HIV-infected persons. Further research is needed to develop optimal vaccination strategies in HIV-infected persons.
PMCID: PMC3201215  PMID: 22043256
HIV; HBV vaccination; GM-CSF; adjuvant.
14.  Metabolic Outcomes in a Randomized Trial of Nucleoside, Nonnucleoside and Protease Inhibitor-Sparing Regimens for Initial HIV Treatment 
AIDS (London, England)  2009;23(9):1109-1118.
The metabolic effects of initial therapy for HIV-1 infection are important determinants of regimen selection.
Open-label study in 753 subjects randomized equally to: efavirenz or lopinavir/ritonavir(r) plus two NRTI versus the NRTI-sparing regimen of lopinavir/r plus efavirenz. Zidovudine, stavudine, or tenofovir with lamivudine was selected prior to randomization. Metabolic outcomes through 96-weeks were lipoatrophy, defined as ≥20% loss of extremity fat, and fasting serum lipids.
Lipoatrophy by DEXA at week 96 occurred in 32% (95% confidence interval 25%, 39%) of subjects in the efavirenz plus two NRTI arm, 17% (12%,24%) in the lopinavir/r plus two NRTI arm, and 9% (5,14%) in the NRTI-sparing arm (p≤0.023 for all comparisons). Varying the definition of lipoatrophy (≥10% to ≥40% fat loss) and correction for baseline risk factors did not affect the significant difference in lipoatrophy between the NRTI-containing regimens. Lipoatrophy was most frequent with stavudine-containing regimens and least frequent with tenofovir-containing regimens (p<0.001), which were not significantly different from the NRTI-sparing regimen. Total cholesterol increases at week 96 were greatest in the NRTI-sparing arm (median +57 mg/dL) compared to the other two arms (+32-33 mg/dL, p<.001). Use of lipid lowering agents was more common (25% versus 11-13%) in the NRTI-sparing arm.
Lipoatrophy was more frequent with efavirenz than lopinavir/r when combined with stavudine or zidovudine, and less frequent when either drug was combined with tenofovir. Lipoatrophy was least frequent with the NRTI-sparing regimen, but this benefit was offset by greater cholesterol elevations and the need for lipid lowering agents.
PMCID: PMC2739977  PMID: 19417580
antiretroviral therapy; lipoatrophy; metabolic complication; treatment naive; PI; NNRTI
15.  Metabolic and Immune Activation Effects of Treatment Interruption in Chronic HIV-1 Infection: Implications for Cardiovascular Risk 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(4):e2021.
Concern about costs and antiretroviral therapy (ART)-associated toxicities led to the consideration of CD4 driven strategies for the management of HIV. That approach was evaluated in the SMART trial that reported an unexpected increase of cardiovascular events after treatment interruption (TI). Our goal was to evaluate fasting metabolic changes associated with interruption of antiretroviral therapy and relate them to changes of immune activation markers and cardiovascular risk.
ACTG 5102 enrolled 47 HIV-1-infected subjects on stable ART, with <200 HIV RNA copies/mL and CD4 cell count ≥500 cells/µL. Subjects were randomly assigned to continue ART for 18 weeks with or without 3 cycles of interleukin-2 (IL-2) (cycle = 4.5 million IU sc BID x 5 days every 8 weeks). After 18 weeks ART was discontinued in all subjects until the CD4 cell count dropped below 350 cells/µL. Glucose and lipid parameters were evaluated every 8 weeks initially and at weeks 2, 4, 8 and every 8 weeks after TI. Immune activation was evaluated by flow-cytometry and soluble TNFR2 levels.
Principal Findings
By week 8 of TI, levels of total cholesterol (TC) (median (Q1, Q3) (−0.73 (−1.19, −0.18) mmol/L, p<0.0001), LDL, HDL cholesterol (−0.36(−0.73,−0.03)mmol/L, p = 0.0007 and −0.05(−0.26,0.03), p = 0.0033, respectively) and triglycerides decreased (−0.40 (−0.84, 0.07) mmol/L, p = 0.005). However the TC/HDL ratio remained unchanged (−0.09 (−1.2, 0.5), p = 0.2). Glucose and insulin levels did not change (p = 0.6 and 0.8, respectively). After TI there was marked increase in immune activation (CD8+/HLA-DR+/CD38+ cells, 34% (13, 43), p<0.0001) and soluble TNFR2 (1089 ng/L (−189, 1655), p = 0.0008) coinciding with the rebound of HIV viremia.
Our data suggests that interrupting antiretroviral therapy does not reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, as the improvements in lipid parameters are modest and overshadowed by the decreased HDL levels. Increased immune cell activation and systemic inflammatory responses associated with recrudescent HIV viremia may provide a more cogent explanation for the increased cardiovascular risk associated with treatment interruption and HIV infection.
Trial Registration NCT00015704
PMCID: PMC2292263  PMID: 18431498
16.  Mechanism of HIV protein induced modulation of mesenchymal stem cell osteogenic differentiation 
A high incidence of decreased bone mineral density (BMD) has been associated with HIV infection. Normal skeletal homeostasis is controlled, at least in part, by the maturation and activity of mature osteoblasts. Previous studies by our group have demonstrated the ability of HIV proteins to perturb osteoblast function, and the degree of osteogenesis in differentiating mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). This study attempts to further dissect the dynamics of this effect.
MSCs were cultured under both osteogenic (cultured in commercially available differentiation media) and quiescent (cultured in basal medium) conditions. Both cell populations were exposed to HIV p55-gag and HIV rev (100 ng/ml). Time points were taken at 3, 6, 9, and 15 days for osteogenic conditions, while quiescent cells were treated for 1 week. Cell function (alkaline phosphatase [ALP] activity, calcium deposition, and lipid levels) and the activity of the key MSC transcription factors, RUNX-2 and PPARgamma were determined post-exposure. Also, in cells cultured in differentiating conditions, cellular levels of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) were analysed using whole cell ELISA, while BMP-2 secretion was also examined.
In differentiating MSCs, exposure to HIV proteins caused significant changes in both the timing and magnitude of key osteogenic events and signals. Treatment with REV increased the overall rate of mineralization, and induced earlier increases in CTGF levels, RUNX-2 activity and BMP-2 secretion, than those observed in the normal course of differntiation. In contrast, p55-gag reduced the overall level of osteogenesis, and reduced BMP-2 secretion, RUNX-2 activity, CTGF levels and ALP activity at many of the timepoints examined. Finally, in cells cultured in basal conditions, treatment with HIV proteins did not in and of itself induce a significant degree of differentiation over the time period examined.
These data demonstrate that the effect of HIV proteins on bone is dependent on the differentiation status of the cells that they are in contact with. The effect on bone cell signalling provides insights into the mechanism of HIV induced decreases in bone mineral density.
PMCID: PMC2330047  PMID: 18366626
17.  Whole body proteolysis rate is elevated in HIV-associated insulin resistance 
Diabetes  2006;55(10):2849-2855.
Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is characterized by impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and insulin resistance with respect to glucose metabolism, but not amino acid metabolism. We examined whether whole body leucine and protein metabolism are dysregulated in HIV-infected people with IGT. Glucose and leucine kinetics were measured under fasting insulin conditions and during euglycemic-hyperinsulinemia using primed constant infusions of 2H2-glucose and 13C-leucine in 10 HIV-seronegative control subjects, 16 HIV+ with normal glucose tolerance, and 21 HIV+IGT. Glucose disposal rate during hyperinsulinemia was lower in HIV+IGT than the other two groups. Absolute plasma leucine levels and rate of appearance (whole body proteolysis) were higher in HIV+IGT at all insulin levels, but declined in response to hyperinsulinemia in parallel to those in the other two groups. HIV+IGT had greater visceral adiposity, fasting serum IL-8 and FFA levels, and higher lipid oxidation rates during the clamp than the other two groups. The findings implicate several factors in the insulin-signaling pathway that may be further dysregulated in HIV+IGT, and support the notion that insulin-signaling pathways for glucose and leucine metabolism may be disrupted by increased proinflammatory adipocytokines (IL-8) and increased lipid oxidation. Increased proteolysis may provide amino acids for gluconeogenesis; exacerbating hyperglycemia in HIV.
PMCID: PMC1764855  PMID: 17003352
muscle amino acid metabolism; insulin signaling; adipocytokine; lipotoxicity; substrate partitioning; mass spectrometry; stable isotope tracer methods; HIV=human immunodeficiency virus; AIDS=acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; HAART=highly active antiretroviral therapy; FFM=fat-free mass; T2DM=type 2 diabetes mellitus; BCAA=branched chain amino acids; Rd=rate of disposal; Ra=rate of appearance; IGT=impaired glucose tolerance; FFA=serum free fatty acids; VAT=visceral adipose tissue content; SAT=subcutaneous adipose tissue content; TAT=total adipose tissue content; HOMA=homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance; RIA=radioimmunoassay; NRTI= nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitors; NNRTI= non-nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitor; PI= protease inhibitor
18.  Alterations in thigh subcutaneous adipose tissue gene expression in protease inhibitor-based highly active antiretroviral therapy 
Use of protease inhibitor (PI)–based highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has been associated with altered regional fat distribution, insulin resistance, and dyslipidemias. To assess how PI-based HAART affects adipocyte gene expression in male HIV-1–infected patients, reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction was used to quantify messenger RNA expression of adipocyte transcription factors and adipocytokines in thigh and abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue from male (1) HIV-1 seronegative subjects (control, n = 9), (2) asymptomatic treatment-naive HIV-1–infected patients (naive, n = 6), (3) HIV-1–infected patients who were receiving antiretroviral agents but never received PIs (PI naive, n = 5), (4) HIV-1–infected patients who were receiving PI-based HAART (PI, n = 7), and (5) HIV-1–infected patients who discontinued the PI component of their antiviral therapy more than 6 months before enrollment (past PI, n =7). In the PI group, the messenger RNA expression levels of the CCAAT/enhancer–binding protein α, leptin, and adiponectin (18%, P < .01; 23%, P < .05; and 13%, P < .05, respectively) were significantly lower than the levels measured in the PI-naive group. These results are consistent with previous studies on the effects of PIs on cultured adipocytes. Prospective longitudinal studies of thigh fat adipose tissue gene expression could provide further insights on the pathogenesis of metabolic complications associated with PI-based HAART.
PMCID: PMC1564433  PMID: 15877283
19.  The HIV protease inhibitor ritonavir blocks osteoclastogenesis and function by impairing RANKL-induced signaling 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2004;114(2):206-213.
Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), which includes HIV protease inhibitors (PIs), has been associated with bone demineralization. To determine if this complication reflects accelerated resorptive activity, we studied the impact of two common HIV PIs, ritonavir and indinavir, on osteoclast formation and function. Surprisingly, we find that ritonavir, but not indinavir, inhibits osteoclast differentiation in a reversible manner and also abrogates bone resorption by disrupting the osteoclast cytoskeleton, without affecting cell number. Ritonavir given in vivo completely blunts parathyroid hormone–induced osteoclastogenesis in mice, which confirms that the drug is bone sparing. In keeping with its antiresorptive properties, ritonavir impairs receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand–induced (RANKL-induced) activation of NF-κB and Akt signaling pathways, both critical to osteoclast formation and function. In particular, ritonavir is found to inhibit RANKL-induced Akt signaling by disrupting the recruitment of TNF receptor–associated factor 6/c-Src complex to lipid rafts. Thus, ritonavir may represent a bone-sparing PI capable of preventing development of osteopenia in patients currently on HAART.
PMCID: PMC449740  PMID: 15254587
20.  Antifungal Susceptibility Survey of 2,000 Bloodstream Candida Isolates in the United States 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2003;47(10):3149-3154.
Candida bloodstream isolates (n = 2,000) from two multicenter clinical trials carried out by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Mycoses Study Group between 1995 and 1999 were tested against amphotericin B (AMB), flucytosine (5FC), fluconazole (FLU), itraconazole (ITR), voriconazole (VOR), posaconazole (POS), caspofungin (CFG), micafungin (MFG), and anidulafungin (AFG) using the NCCLS M27-A2 microdilution method. All drugs were tested in the NCCLS-specified RPMI 1640 medium except for AMB, which was tested in antibiotic medium 3. A sample of isolates was also tested in RPMI 1640 supplemented to 2% glucose and by using the diluent polyethylene glycol (PEG) in lieu of dimethyl sulfoxide for those drugs insoluble in water. Glucose supplementation tended to elevate the MIC, whereas using PEG tended to decrease the MIC. Trailing growth occurred frequently with azoles. Isolates were generally susceptible to AMB, 5FC, and FLU. Rates of resistance to ITR approached 20%. Although no established interpretative breakpoints are available for the candins (CFG, MFG, and AFG) and the new azoles (VOR and POS), they all exhibited excellent antifungal activity, even for those strains resistant to the other aforementioned agents.
PMCID: PMC201160  PMID: 14506023

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