Short communication: Apoptosis pathways in HIV-1-infected patients before and after highly active antiretroviral therapy: Relevance to immune recovery

David L. Pitrak, Richard M. Novak, Randee Estes, Jean Tschampa, Christina D. Abaya, Jeffrey Martinson, Kirsten Bradley, Allan R. Tenorio, Alan L. Landay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Investigations into apoptotic pathways, intrinsic and extrinsic, and the effects of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on T cell death via those pathways may provide insight into the mechanisms of and barriers to immune recovery. HIV-1-infected patients were enrolled into a randomized, controlled study of the immune effects of a lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r)-based versus an efavirenz (EFV)-based HAART regimen in antiretroviral-naive subjects with CD4+ counts <350 cells/mm3. Patients were randomized to receive TDF/FTC/EFZ or TDF/FTC plus LPV/r. Fourteen patients were enrolled and 10 patients completed 6 months of therapy as per the protocol. CD4+ counts were measured before and during HAART therapy. We isolated T cell subsets to measure ex vivo apoptosis by propidium iodide staining. We also assessed caspase activation for the intrinsic and extrinsic pathways of apoptosis, as well as effector caspase activation. We also measured mitochondrial membrane potential. Cells were analyzed by flow cytometry. All patients had increased activation of caspase 8 (extrinsic pathway), caspase 9 (intrinsic pathway), effector caspases 3/7, and low mitochondrial membrane potential at baseline compared to controls. By 4 weeks, there was a decrease in activation of all caspases, but little further decrease by week 24. T cell mitochondrial membrane potential did not increase until week 12, but continued to increase until week 24. The only predictor of CD4+ count increase was the increase in mitochondrial membrane potential of naive cells at 6 months (r=0.66, p=0.038). This suggests that positive selection of naive CD4+ T cells in the thymus is the major determinant of CD4+ recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-216
Number of pages9
JournalAIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Short communication: Apoptosis pathways in HIV-1-infected patients before and after highly active antiretroviral therapy: Relevance to immune recovery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this