Wada NI, Jacobson LP, Margolick JB, Breen EC, Macatangay B, Penugonda S, Martinez-Maza O, Bream JH. The effect of HAART-induced HIV suppression on circulating markers of inflammation and immune activation. AIDS. 2015, 29: 463-71. PMC4311407
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the impact of HAART-induced HIV suppression on levels of 24 serological biomarkers of inflammation and immune activation. DESIGN: A prospective cohort study. METHODS: Biomarkers were measured with multiplex assays in centralized laboratories using stored serum samples contributed by 1697 men during 8903 person-visits in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) from 1984 to 2009. Using generalized gamma models, we compared biomarker values across three groups, adjusting for possible confounders: HIV-uninfected (NEG); HIV-positive, HAART-naive (NAI); and HAART-exposed with HIV RNA suppressed to less than 50 copies/ml plasma (SUP). We also estimated changes in biomarker levels associated with duration of HIV suppression, using splined generalized gamma regression with a knot at 1 year. RESULTS: Most biomarkers were relatively normalized in the SUP group relative to the NAI group; however, 12 biomarkers in the SUP group were distinct (P < 0.002) from NEG values: CXCL10, C-reactive protein (CRP), sCD14, sTNFR2, tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), sCD27, sGP130, interleukin (IL)-8, CCL13, BAFF, GM-CSF and IL-12p70. Thirteen biomarkers exhibited significant changes in the first year after viral suppression, but none changed significantly after that time. CONCLUSION: Biomarkers of inflammation and immune activation moved towards HIV-negative levels within the first year after HAART-induced HIV suppression. Although several markers of T-cell activation returned to levels present in HIV-negative men, residual immune activation, particularly monocyte/macrophage activation, was present. This residual immune activation may represent a therapeutic target to improve the prognosis of HIV-infected individuals receiving HAART.