BACKGROUND: The prevalence and mortality risk of depression in people with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-infection (PWH) on antiretroviral therapy (ART) is higher than in the general population, yet biomarkers for therapeutic targeting are unknown. Here, we aimed to identify plasma metabolites associated with depressive symptoms in PWH on ART.
METHODS: This is a prospective study of ART-treated HIV-infected adults with or without depressive symptoms assessed using longitudinal Beck Depression Inventory scores. Plasma metabolite profiling was performed in two independent cohorts (total n=99) using liquid and gas chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry.
RESULTS: Participants with depressive symptoms had lower neuroactive steroids (dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S), androstenediols, pregnenolone sulfate) compared to those without depressive symptoms. Cortisol/DHEA-S ratio, an indicator of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis imbalance, was associated with depressive symptoms (p<0.01) due to low DHEA-S, while cortisol was similar between groups. The odds of having depressive symptoms increased with higher cortisol/DHEA-S ratios [odds 2.5 per z-score, 95% confidence interval 1.3-4.7], independent of age and gender. Kynurenine to tryptophan ratio showed no significant associations.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that altered neuroactive steroid metabolism may contribute to the pathophysiology of depression in ART-treated HIV-infected adults, representing a potential biological pathway for therapeutic targeting.
BACKGROUND: Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are nano-sized particles present in most body fluids including cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Little is known about CSF EV proteins in HIV+ individuals. Here, we characterize the CSF EV proteome in HIV+ subjects and its relationship to neuroinflammation, stress responses, and HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND).
METHODS: CSF EVs isolated from 20 HIV+ subjects with (n = 10) or without (n = 10) cognitive impairment were characterized by electron microscopy, nanoparticle tracking analysis, immunoblotting, and untargeted LC/MS/MS mass spectrometry. Functional annotation was performed by gene ontology (GO) mapping and expression annotation using Biobase Transfac and PANTHER software. Cultured astrocytic U87 cells were treated with hydrogen peroxide for 4 h to induce oxidative stress and EVs isolated by ultracentrifugation. Selected markers of astrocytes (GFAP, GLUL), inflammation (CRP), and stress responses (PRDX2, PARK7, HSP70) were evaluated in EVs released by U87 cells following induction of oxidative stress and in CSF EVs from HIV+ patients by immunoblotting.
RESULTS: Mass spectrometry identified 2727 and 1626 proteins in EV fractions and EV-depleted CSF samples, respectively. CSF EV fractions were enriched with exosomal markers including Alix, syntenin, tetraspanins, and heat-shock proteins and a subset of neuronal, astrocyte, oligodendrocyte, and choroid plexus markers, in comparison to EV-depleted CSF. Proteins related to synapses, immune/inflammatory responses, stress responses, metabolic processes, mitochondrial functions, and blood-brain barrier were also identified in CSF EV fractions by GO mapping. HAND subjects had higher abundance of CSF EVs and proteins mapping to GO terms for synapses, glial cells, inflammation, and stress responses compared to those without HAND. GFAP, GLUL, CRP, PRDX2, PARK7, and HSP70 were confirmed by immunoblotting of CSF EVs from subjects with HAND and were also detected in EVs released by U87 cells under oxidative stress.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that CSF EVs derived from neurons, glial cells, and choroid plexus carry synaptic, immune/inflammation-related, and stress response proteins in HIV+ individuals with cognitive impairment, representing a valuable source for biomarker discovery.
BACKGROUND: Tobacco smoking induces immunomodulatory and pro-inflammatory effects associated with transcriptome changes in monocytes and other immune cell types. While smoking is prevalent in HIV-infected (HIV+) individuals, few studies have investigated its effects on gene expression in this population. Here, we report whole-transcriptome analyses of 125 peripheral blood monocyte samples from ART-treated HIV+ and uninfected (HIV-) men enrolled in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) (n = 25 HIV+ smokers, n = 60 HIV+ non-smokers, n = 40 HIV- non-smoking controls). Gene expression profiling was performed using Illumina HumanHT-12 Expression BeadChip microarrays. Differential expression analysis was performed with weighted linear regression models using the R limma package, followed by functional enrichment and Ingenuity Pathway analyses.
RESULTS: A total of 286 genes were differentially expressed in monocytes from HIV+ smokers compared with HIV- non-smokers; upregulated genes (n = 180) were enriched for immune and interferon response, chemical/stress response, mitochondria, and extracellular vesicle gene ontology (GO) terms. Expression of genes related to immune/interferon responses (AIM2, FCGR1A-B, IFI16, SP100), stress/chemical responses (APAF1, HSPD1, KLF4), and mitochondrial function (CISD1, MTHFD2, SQOR) was upregulated in HIV+ non-smokers and further increased in HIV+ smokers. Gene expression changes associated with smoking in previous studies of human monocytes were also observed (SASH1, STAB1, PID1, MMP25). Depressive symptoms (CES-D scores ≥ 16) were more prevalent in HIV+ tobacco smokers compared with HIV+ and HIV- non-smokers (50% vs. 26% and 13%, respectively; p = 0.007), and upregulation of immune/interferon response genes, including IFI35, IFNAR1, OAS1-2, STAT1, and SP100, was associated with depressive symptoms in logistic regression models adjusted for HIV status and smoking (p < 0.05). Network models linked the Stat1-mediated interferon pathway to transcriptional regulator Klf4 and smoking-associated toll-like receptor scaffolding protein Sash1, suggesting inter-relationships between smoking-associated genes, control of monocyte differentiation, and interferon-mediated inflammatory responses.
CONCLUSIONS: This study characterizes immune, interferon, stress response, and mitochondrial-associated gene expression changes in monocytes from HIV+ tobacco smokers, and identifies augmented interferon and stress responses associated with depressive symptoms. These findings help to explain complex interrelationships between pro-inflammatory effects of HIV and smoking, and their combined impact on comorbidities prevalent in HIV+ individuals.
Neurocognitive impairment (NCI) remains a significant cause of morbidity in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive individuals despite highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). White matter abnormalities have emerged as a key component of age-related neurodegeneration, and accumulating evidence suggests they play a role in HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. Viral persistence in the brain induces chronic inflammation associated with lymphocytic infiltration, microglial proliferation, myelin loss, and cerebrovascular lesions. In this study, gene expression profiling was performed on frontal white matter from 34 older HIV+ individuals on HAART (18 with NCI) and 24 HIV-negative controls. We used the NanoString nCounter platform to evaluate 933 probes targeting inflammation, interferon and stress responses, energy metabolism, and central nervous system-related genes. Viral loads were measured using single-copy assays. Compared to HIV- controls, HIV+ individuals exhibited increased expression of genes related to interferon, MHC-1, and stress responses, myeloid cells, and T cells and decreased expression of genes associated with oligodendrocytes and energy metabolism in white matter. These findings correlated with increased white matter inflammation and myelin pallor, suggesting interferon (IRFs, IFITM1, ISG15, MX1, OAS3) and stress response (ATF4, XBP1, CHOP, CASP1, WARS) gene expression changes are associated with decreased energy metabolism (SREBF1, SREBF2, PARK2, TXNIP) and oligodendrocyte myelin production (MAG, MOG), leading to white matter dysfunction. Machine learning identified a 15-gene signature predictive of HIV status that was validated in an independent cohort. No specific gene expression patterns were associated with NCI. These findings suggest therapies that decrease chronic inflammation while protecting mitochondrial function may help to preserve white matter integrity in older HIV+ individuals.
Background Lung disease is a common comorbidity in people with HIV/AIDS, independent of smoking status. The effects of marijuana smoking on risk of lung disease in HIV-infected individuals are unclear. Methods In this prospective cohort study, we quantified lung disease risk among men enrolled in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS), a long-term observational cohort of HIV-infected and uninfected men who have sex with men. Eligible participants were aged ≥30 years with self-reported marijuana and tobacco smoking data from biannual study visits between 1996 and 2014. Pulmonary diagnoses were obtained from self-report and medical records. Analyses were performed using Cox models and Generalized Estimating Equations adjusted for tobacco smoking, CD4 T cell count, and other risk factors. Findings 1630 incident pulmonary diagnoses were reported among 1352 HIV-seropositive and 1352 HIV-seronegative eligible participants matched for race and baseline age (53,794 total person-visits, median follow-up 10.5 years). 27% of HIV-infected participants reported daily or weekly marijuana smoking for one or more years in follow-up, compared to 18% of uninfected participants (median 4·0 and 4·5 years daily/weekly use, respectively). HIV-infected participants had an increased likelihood of infectious or non-infectious pulmonary diagnoses compared to uninfected participants (33·2% vs. 21·5%, and 20·6% vs. 17·2%, respectively). Among HIV-infected participants, recent marijuana smoking was associated with increased risk of infectious pulmonary diagnoses and chronic bronchitis independent of tobacco smoking and other risk factors for lung disease (hazard ratio [95% confidence interval] 1·43 [1·09–1·86], and 1·54 [1·11–2·13], respectively); these risks were additive in participants smoking both substances. There was no association between marijuana smoking and pulmonary diagnoses in HIV-uninfected participants. Interpretation In this longitudinal study, long-term marijuana smoking was associated with lung disease independent of tobacco smoking and other risk factors in HIV-infected individuals. These findings could be used to reduce modifiable risks of lung disease in high-risk populations.
OBJECTIVE: The relationship of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) extracellular vesicles (EVs) to neurocognitive impairment (NCI) in HIV-infected individuals is unclear. Here, we characterize CSF EVs and their association with CNS injury-related biomarkers (neurofilament light [NFL], S100B, neopterin) and NCI in HIV+ subjects on combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). DESIGN: Cross-sectional and longitudinal study of CSF samples from HIV+ subjects on cART. METHODS: NFL, S100B, and neopterin were measured by ELISA in 190 CSF samples from 112 subjects (67 HIV+ and 45 HIV-). CSF EVs were isolated and characterized by electron microscopy, nanoparticle tracking analysis, immunoblotting for exosome markers (CD9, CD63, CD81, FLOT-1), and ELISA for HLA-DR. RESULTS: HIV+ subjects had median age 52 years, 67% with suppressed plasma viral load (< 50 copies/ml), median CD4 nadir 66 cells/μl and CD4 count 313 cells/μl. CSF NFL, S100B, and neopterin levels were higher in HIV+ vs. HIV- subjects, and nonsuppressed vs. suppressed HIV+ subjects. While CSF NFL and S100B levels were higher in NCI vs. unimpaired HIV+ subjects (p < 0.05), only NFL was associated with NCI in adjusted models (p < 0.05). CSF EVs were increased in HIV+ vs. HIV- subjects, and NCI vs. unimpaired HIV+ subjects (p < 0.001), and correlated positively with NFL (p < 0.001). HLA-DR was enriched in CSF EVs from HIV+ subjects with NCI (p < 0.05), suggesting myeloid cells are a potential source of CSF EVs during HIV infection. CONCLUSIONS: Increased CSF EVs correlate with neuronal injury biomarker NFL in cART-treated HIV+ individuals with neurocognitive impairment, suggesting potential applications as novel biomarkers of CNS injury.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0.
OBJECTIVE(S): HIV-positive individuals have elevated rates of anal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and sexually transmitted infections with its causative agent, high-risk human papillomavirus, and other oncoviruses including hepatitis B virus (HBV). HBV infection can cause liver cancer, and has been associated with increased risk of some extra-hepatic cancers including biliary tract cancer, pancreatic cancer, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Whether HBV is associated with anal SCC risk is unknown.
DESIGN: Prospective study of anal SCC risk in HIV-positive and -negative men who have sex with men (MSM) in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study from 1984-2014.
METHODS: Poisson regression models were used to examine the association between past or current HBV infection (positive tests for HBV core antibodies, surface antigen, and/or DNA) and anal SCC risk.
RESULTS: We observed 53 cases of anal SCC among 5,298 participants with 79,334 person-years follow-up. Among HIV-positive men, past or current HBV infection was associated with anal SCC risk in models adjusted for age, CD4+ cell counts, HAART use, and other risk factors (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.15, 1.27-7.82). Additional risk factors included immunological parameters one and six years prior to diagnosis (IRR, 95% CI 2.45, 1.31-4.58 and 2.44, 1.3-4.59 for CD4+ counts <500 cells/μl; 2.43, 1.34-4.42 and 2.77, 1.5-5.11 for CD4:CD8 ratios <0.5, respectively). Among HIV-negative men, IRR for prior HBV and anal SCC risk was similar, but not significant due to small number of cases.
CONCLUSIONS: HIV-positive MSM with prior HBV infection have increased anal SCC risk. This population may benefit from screening.This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0.
Immunological parameters that influence susceptibility to virus-associated cancers in HIV-seronegative individuals are unclear. We conducted a case-control cohort study of immunological parameters associated with development of incident virus-associated cancers among 532 HIV-seronegative men who have sex with men (MSM) enrolled in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) with median (IQR) 21 (8-26) years of follow-up. Thirty-two incident virus-associated cancers (anal cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, liver cancer, other cancers with etiologies linked to human papillomavirus, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis B virus, or human herpesvirus-8) were identified among 3,408 HIV-seronegative men in the MACS during 1984-2010. Cases were matched for demographics, smoking, and follow-up to 500 controls without cancer. Mixed-effects and Cox regression models were used to examine associations between nadir or recent CD4, CD8, and white blood cell (WBC) counts or CD4:CD8 ratios and subsequent diagnosis of virus-associated cancers. Men with incident virus-associated cancers had lower CD4 and WBC counts over a 6-year window prior to diagnosis compared to men without cancer (p = 0.001 and 0.03, respectively). Low CD4 cell count and nadir, CD4 count-nadir differential, and CD4:CD8 ratio nadir were associated with increased 2-year risk of incident virus-associated cancers in models adjusted for demographics and smoking (hazard ratios 1.2-1.3 per 100 or 0.1 unit decrease, respectively; p < 0.01). Other associated factors included heavy smoking and past or current hepatitis B virus infection. These findings show that low CD4 cell counts, CD4 nadir, and CD4:CD8 cell ratios are independent predictors for subsequent risk of virus-associated cancers in HIV-seronegative MSM.
Exosomes are nanovesicles released from most cell types including immune cells. Prior studies suggest exosomes play a role in HIV pathogenesis, but little is known about exosome cargo in relation to immune responses and oxidative stress. Here, we characterize plasma exosomes in HIV patients and their relationship to immunological and oxidative stress markers. Plasma exosome fractions were isolated from HIV-positive subjects on ART with suppressed viral load and HIV-negative controls. Exosomes were characterized by electron microscopy, nanoparticle tracking, immunoblotting, and LC-MS/MS proteomics. Plasma exosomes were increased in HIV-positive subjects compared to controls, and correlated with increased oxidative stress markers (cystine, oxidized cys-gly) and decreased PUFA (DHA, EPA, DPA). Untargeted proteomics detected markers of exosomes (CD9, CD63, CD81), immune activation (CD14, CRP, HLA-A, HLA-B), oxidative stress (CAT, PRDX1, PRDX2, TXN), and Notch4 in plasma exosomes. Exosomal Notch4 was increased in HIV-positive subjects versus controls and correlated with immune activation markers. Treatment of THP-1 monocytic cells with patient-derived exosomes induced expression of genes related to interferon responses and immune activation. These results suggest that exosomes in ART-treated HIV patients carry proteins related to immune activation and oxidative stress, have immunomodulatory effects on myeloid cells, and may have pro-inflammatory and redox effects during pathogenesis.
Background: Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) viral escape occurs in 4-20% of HIV-infected adults, yet the impact of antiretroviral therapy (ART) on CSF escape is unclear.
Methods: Prospective study of 1063 participants with baseline plasma viral load (VL) ≤400 copies/ml between 2005-2016. Odds ratio for ART regimens (PI with nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor [PI+NRTI] versus other ART) and CSF escape was estimated using mixed-effects models. Drug resistance mutation frequencies were calculated.
Results: Baseline mean age was 46, median plasma VL, CD4 nadir, and CD4 count were 50 copies/mL, 88 cells/μL, and 424 cells/μL, respectively; 48% on PI+NRTI, 33% on non-NRTI, and 6% on integrase inhibitors. During median follow-up of 4.4 years, CSF escape occurred in 77 participants (7.2%). PI+NRTI use was an independent predictor of CSF escape (OR 3.1 [95% CI 1.8-5.0]) in adjusted analyses and models restricted to plasma VL ≤50 copies/ml (p<0.001). Regimens containing atazanavir (ATV) were a stronger predictor of CSF viral escape than non-ATV PI+NRTI regimens. Plasma and CSF M184V/I combined with thymidine-analog mutations were more frequent in CSF escape versus no escape (23% vs. 2.3%). Genotypic susceptibility score-adjusted CNS penetration-effectiveness (CPE) values were calculated for CSF escape with M184V/I mutations (n=34). Adjusted CPE values were low (<5) for CSF and plasma in 27 (79%) and 13 (38%), respectively, indicating suboptimal CNS drug availability.
Conclusions: PI+NRTI regimens are independent predictors of CSF escape in HIV-infected adults. Reduced CNS ART bioavailability may predispose to CSF escape in patients with M184V/I mutations. Optimizing ART regimens may reduce risk of CSF escape.
Macrophages are a major target of HIV/SIV infection and play an important role in pathogenesis by serving as viral reservoirs in the central nervous system. Previously, a unique early SIVmac251 envelope (Env) variant, deSIV147 was cloned from blood of a rhesus macaque with rapid disease progression and SIV-associated encephalitis. Here, we show that infectious molecular clone deSIV147 caused systemic infection in rhesus macaques following intravenous or intrarectal exposure. Next, we inoculated deSIV147 into macaques depleted of CD4+ T cells and found that animals were SIV-positive, with high plasma and CSF viral loads. These macaques also showed SIVp17-positive macrophages in brain, lymph nodes, colon, lung, and liver. Furthermore, accumulation of perivascular macrophages, multinucleated giant cells, and microgliosis was detected. These findings suggest that the neurotropic deSIV147 clone will be useful to study macrophage infection in HIV/SIV-associated neurocognitive disorders, gain insights into myeloid cell reservoirs in brain and other anatomical sites, as well as test strategies for eradication.
BACKGROUND: HIV+ patients on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) with suppressed viral loads have a low incidence of HIV-associated dementia, but increased prevalence of milder forms of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). These milder forms of HAND are often associated with minimal histological abnormalities, and their pathophysiology is unclear. Comorbidities, altered amyloid metabolism, accelerated brain aging, and activated interferon responses are suspected to play a role in HAND pathogenesis in HAART-treated persons.
METHODS: To investigate associations between liver disease, accelerated brain aging, and HAND in HIV+ patients in the late HAART era (2002-2015), we studied liver and brain autopsy tissues from 53 older subjects evaluated at UCLA and BWH using histopathological stains, a sensitive fluorescent amyloid stain (AmyloGlo), and targeted gene expression profiling (NanoString).
RESULTS: The majority of HIV+ subjects (median age 56) were on HAART (89.3%) with last pre-mortem plasma viral load <400 copies/mL (81.5%); 50% had CD4+ counts <200 cells/μL. Compared to HIV- controls (median age 65), HIV+ subjects had more cancer (p = 0.04), illicit drug use (p <0.00001), and HCV co-infection (p = 0.002), less cardiovascular disease (p = 0.03), and similar prevalence of cerebrovascular disease (~40%), hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes. Deep frontal white matter showed increased gliosis in HIV+ subjects vs. HIV- controls (p = 0.09), but no significant differences in myelin loss, blood vessel thickening, or inflammation. Liver showed more severe fibrosis/cirrhosis (p = 0.02) and less steatosis (p = 0.03) in HIV+ subjects, but no significant differences in inflammation, blood vessel thickness, or pigment deposition. There were no significant associations between liver and brain pathologies. AmyloGlo staining detected large amyloid deposits in only one HIV+ case (age 69 with Alzheimer's disease pathology) and two HIV- controls (ages 66 and 74). White matter from HIV+ cases vs. HIV- seronegative controls showed a trend (p = 0.06) towards increased interferon response gene expression (ISG15, MX1, IFIT1, IFIT2, and IFITM1).
CONCLUSIONS: Gliosis and cerebrovascular disease, but not accelerated amyloid deposition, are common brain pathologies among older HIV+ patients in the late HAART era. Although HIV+ subjects had more cirrhosis, liver pathology was not associated with any consistent pattern of brain pathology. Cerebrovascular disease, interferon responses, and neuroinflammation are likely factors contributing to brain aging and HAND in older HIV+ patients on current HAART regimens.
Cocaine use is prevalent among HIV-infected individuals. While cross-sectional studies suggest that cocaine users may be at increased risk for depression, long-term effects of cocaine on depressive symptoms remain unclear. This is a longitudinal study of 341 HIV-infected and uninfected men (135 cocaine users and 206 controls) ages 30-60 enrolled in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study during 1996-2009. The median baseline age was 41; 73% were African-American. In mixed-effects models over a median of 4.8 years of observation, cocaine use was associated with higher depressive symptoms independent of age, education level, and smoking (n = 288; p = 0.02); HIV infection modified this association (p = 0.03). Latent class mixed models were used to empirically identify distinct depressive trajectories (n = 160). In adjusted models, cocaine use was associated with threefold increased odds of membership in the class with persistent high depressive symptoms (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.38-6.69) and eightfold increased odds (95% CI (2.73-25.83) when tested among HIV-infected subjects only. Cocaine use is a risk factor for chronic depressive symptoms, particularly among HIV-infected men, highlighting the importance of integrating mental health and substance use treatments to address barriers to well-being and successful HIV-care.
OBJECTIVES: Nitrite inhalants (poppers) are commonly used recreational drugs among MSM and were previously associated with elevated rates of high-risk sexual behavior, HIV and human herpesvirus type 8 (HHV-8) seroconversion, and transient immunosuppressive effects in experimental models. Whether long-term popper use is associated with cancer risk among MSM in the HAART era is unclear.
DESIGN: Prospective cohort study of cancer risk in 3223 HIV-infected and uninfected MSM in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study from 1996-2010.
METHODS: Poisson regression models were used to examine the association between heavy popper use (defined as daily or weekly use for at least 1 year) and risk of individual cancers or composite category of virus-associated cancers.
RESULTS: Among all participants, heavy popper use was not associated with increased risk of any individual cancers. Among HIV-uninfected men aged 50-70, heavy popper use was associated with increased risk of virus-associated cancer with causes linked to human papillomavirus, HHV-8, and Epstein-Barr virus in models adjusted for demographics, number of sexual partners, immunological parameters (CD4 cell counts or CD4/CD8 ratios), and hepatitis B and C viruses [incidence rate ratio (IRR), 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.24, 1.05-9.96], or sexually transmitted infections (IRR 3.03, 95% CI, 1.01-9.09), as was cumulative use over a 5-year period (IRR 1.012, 95% CI 1.003-1.021; P = 0.007). There was no significant association between heavy popper use and virus-associated cancer in HIV-infected men.
CONCLUSIONS: Long-term heavy popper use is associated with elevated risk of some virus-associated cancers with causes related to human papillomavirus, HHV-8, and Epstein-Barr virus infections in older HIV-uninfected MSM independent of sexual behavior and immunological parameters.
Background.: Marijuana use is prevalent among persons infected with HIV, but its long-term effects on HIV disease progression and comorbidities are unknown.
Methods.: A prospective study of 558 HIV-infected men enrolled in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study between 1990-2010: 182 HIV seroconverters and 376 with viral suppression on combination antiretroviral therapy (ART). Associations between heavy marijuana use and HIV disease markers or white blood cell (WBC) count were examined using mixed-effects and linear regression models. Effects of marijuana use on cardiovascular (CV) events and other endpoints were estimated by Kaplan-Meier and logistic regression analyses.
Results.: The median baseline age of participants was 41, 66% were white, 79% had education > 12 years, and 20% reported heavy marijuana use at ≥ 50% of biannual visits during follow-up. Long-term heavy marijuana use showed no significant associations with viral load, CD4 counts, AIDS, cancer, or mortality in both cohorts, but was independently associated with increased CV events between ages 40-60 after adjusting for age, tobacco smoking, viral load, and traditional risk factors (odds ratio [OR], 2.5; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3, 5.1). Marijuana and tobacco use were each independently associated with higher WBC counts in adjusted models (P<0.01); in turn, the highest quartile of WBC counts (≥ 6500 cells/µL) was associated with increased CV events (OR 4.3; 95% CI, 1.5, 12.9).
Conclusions.: Heavy marijuana use is a risk factor for CV disease in HIV-infected men ages 40-60, independent of tobacco smoking and traditional risk factors.
PURPOSE: African American men have the highest incidence of prostate cancer among ethnic groups, and racial disparity is highest in younger men. Prostate cancer prevalence is rising in HIV-infected men due to improved survival on antiretroviral therapies, yet little is known about racial differences in prostate cancer risk by HIV-infection status and age.
METHODS: This is a prospective cohort study of prostate cancer risk in 2,800 HIV-infected and -uninfected men who have sex with men (MSM) aged 40-70 years (22% African American) who were enrolled in the multicenter AIDS cohort study from 1996 to 2010. Poisson regression models were used to examine associations between race and HIV-infection status and prostate cancer risk among men aged 40-70, 40-55, and 56-70 years.
RESULTS: Among men aged 40-70 years, incidence rates (IR) per 100,000 person-years were 169 among all men and 276 among African American HIV-infected men. Prostate cancer risk was similar by HIV-infection status (IRR 1.0, 95% CI 0.55-1.82), but nearly threefold higher in African Americans compared to non-African Americans in adjusted models (IRRs 2.66 and 3.22, 95% CIs 1.36-5.18 and 1.27-8.16 for all or HIV-infected men, respectively). Racial disparity in prostate cancer risk was greatest in African American men aged 40-55 years (adjusted IRR 3.31, 95% CI 1.19-9.22). Prostate cancer risk showed associations with family history of prostate cancer (p = 0.001), but not heavy smoking, androgen supplement use, or HIV-related factors.
CONCLUSIONS: Among MSM, African American HIV-positive and HIV-negative men aged 40-55 years have threefold increased risk of young-onset prostate cancer compared to non-African American men, highlighting the need to make informed decisions about screening in this population.
BACKGROUND: Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) viral escape is an increasingly recognized clinical event among HIV-1-infected adults. We analyzed longitudinal data and drug-resistance mutations to characterize profiles of HIV-1-infected patients on antiretroviral therapy with discordant CSF and plasma HIV-1 RNA levels.
METHODS: Forty-one cases of CSF escape defined as detectable CSF HIV-1 RNA when plasma levels were undetectable, or HIV-1 RNA >0.5-log higher in CSF than plasma were identified from Boston Hospitals and National NeuroAIDS Tissue Consortium (NNTC) from 2005 to 2016.
RESULTS: Estimated prevalence of CSF escape in Boston and NNTC cohorts was 6.0% and 6.8%, respectively; median age was 50, duration of HIV-1 infection 17 years, CD4 count 329 cells/mm and CD4 nadir 21 cells/mm. Neurological symptoms were present in 30 cases; 4 had repeat episodes of CSF escape. Cases were classified into subtypes based plasma HIV-1 RNA levels in the preceding 24 months: high-level viremia (1000 copies/mL), low-level viremia (LLV: 51-999 copies/mL), and plasma suppression with CSF blip or escape (CSF RNA <200 or ≥200 copies/mL). High-level viremia cases reported more substance abuse, whereas LLV or plasma suppression cases were more neurosymptomatic (81% vs. 53%); 75% of repeat CSF escape cases were classified LLV. M184V/I mutations were identified in 74% of CSF samples when plasma levels were ≤50 copies per milliliter.
CONCLUSIONS: Characteristics frequently observed in CSF escape include HIV-1 infection >15 years, previous LLV, and M184V/I mutations in CSF. Classification based on preceding plasma HIV RNA levels provides a useful conceptual framework to identify causal factors and test therapeutics.
BACKGROUND: Dyslipidemia and apolipoprotein E4 (APOE ϵ4) allele are risk factors for age-related cognitive decline, but how these risks are modified by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is unclear.
METHODS: In a longitudinal nested study from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, 273 HIV type 1-infected (HIV(+)) men aged 50-65 years with baseline HIV RNA <400 copies/mL and on continuous antiretroviral therapy (ART) in ≥95% of follow-up visits were matched by sociodemographic variables to 516 HIV-uninfected (HIV(-)) controls. The association between lipid markers (total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol [LDL-C], high-density lipoprotein cholesterol [HDL-C], and triglycerides), APOE genotype, and cognitive decline in HIV infection was examined using mixed-effects models.
RESULTS: The median baseline age of participants was 51, 81% were white, and 89% had education >12 years. HIV(+) men had similar baseline total cholesterol and LDL-C, but lower HDL-C and higher triglycerides than controls (P < .001). Higher total cholesterol and LDL-C were associated with faster rates of cognitive decline (P < .01), whereas higher HDL-C attenuated decline (P = .02) in HIV(+) men. In HIV(+) men with elevated cholesterol, statin use was associated with a slower estimated rate of decline (P = .02). APOE ϵ4 genotype accelerated cognitive decline in HIV(+) but not HIV(-) men (P = .01), with trajectories diverging from HIV(-) ε4 carriers after age 50. Total cholesterol levels did not modify the association of ϵ4 genotype with decline (P = .9).
CONCLUSIONS: Elevated cholesterol and APOE ϵ4 genotype are independent risk factors for cognitive decline in ART-adherent HIV(+) men aged >50 years. Treatment of dyslipidemia may be an effective strategy to reduce cognitive decline in older HIV(+) individuals.
BACKGROUND: Depression is a frequent comorbidity in HIV infection that has been associated with worse treatment outcomes and increased mortality. Recent studies suggest that increased innate immune activation and tryptophan catabolism are associated with higher risk of depression in HIV infection and other chronic inflammatory diseases, but the mechanisms leading to depression remain poorly understood.
METHODS: The severity of depressive symptoms was assessed by Beck Depression Inventory or Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. Untargeted metabolomic profiling of plasma from 104 subjects (68 HIV-positive and 36 HIV-negative) across 3 independent cohorts was performed using liquid or gas chromatography followed by mass spectrometry. Cytokine profiling was by Bioplex array. Bioinformatic analysis was performed in Metaboanalyst and R.
RESULTS: Decreased monoamine metabolites (phenylacetate, 4-hydroxyphenylacetate) and acylcarnitines (propionylcarnitine, isobutyrylcarnitine, isovalerylcarnitine, 2-methylbutyrylcarnitine) in plasma distinguished depressed subjects from controls in HIV-positive and HIV-negative cohorts, and these alterations correlated with the severity of depressive symptoms. In HIV-positive subjects, acylcarnitines and other markers of mitochondrial function correlated inversely with tryptophan catabolism, a marker of interferon responses, suggesting interrelationships between inflammatory pathways, tryptophan catabolism, and metabolic alterations associated with depression. Altered metabolites mapped to pathways involved in monoamine metabolism, mitochondrial function, and inflammation, suggesting a model in which complex relationships between monoamine metabolism and mitochondrial bioenergetics contribute to biological mechanisms involved in depression that may be augmented by inflammation during HIV infection.
CONCLUSIONS: Integrated approaches targeting inflammation, monoamine metabolism, and mitochondrial pathways may be important for prevention and treatment of depression in people with and without HIV.
Macrophages express low levels of the CD4 receptor compared to T-cells. Macrophage-tropic HIV strains replicating in brain of untreated patients with HIV-associated dementia (HAD) express Envs that are adapted to overcome this restriction through mechanisms that are poorly understood. Here, bioinformatic analysis of env sequence datasets together with functional studies identified polymorphisms in the β3 strand of the HIV gp120 bridging sheet that increase M-tropism. D197, which results in loss of an N-glycan located near the HIV Env trimer apex, was detected in brain in some HAD patients, while position 200 was estimated to be under positive selection. D197 and T/V200 increased fusion and infection of cells expressing low CD4 by enhancing gp120 binding to CCR5. These results identify polymorphisms in the HIV gp120 bridging sheet that overcome the restriction to macrophage infection imposed by low CD4 through enhanced gp120-CCR5 interactions, thereby promoting infection of brain and other macrophage-rich tissues.