Peripheral biomarkers do not correlate with cognitive impairment in highly active antiretroviral therapy—treated subjects with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection
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- Sun, B., Abadjian, L., Rempel, H. et al. Journal of NeuroVirology (2010) 16: 115. doi:10.3109/13550280903559789
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Neuropsychological (NP) impairments in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals remain high despite the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). We sought to determine whether or not a monocyte gene expression profile along with other peripheral factors would correlate with neuropsychological impairment among HIV-infected individuals. Forty-four HIV-1-seropositive subjects (HIV+) on HAART and 11 HIV-1-seronegative controls (HIV−) had NP testing and blood drawn for monocyte gene expression analysis. All HIV+ subjects were assessed for CD4 counts, apolipoprotein E (ApoE) genotype, viral load, and plasma lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and soluble CD14 (sCD14). NP scores were normalized to age, gender, and education. Twenty-five percent of HIV+ individuals showed abnormal NP testing results (>1.5 SD below normal in two domains). HIV+ individuals had deficits in attention/working memory, verbal learning, and information processing speed compared to HIV− controls. There was no correlation between overall NP impairment and plasma viral load, level of education, age, ethnic diversity, sCD14, plasma LPS, CD4 cell count, ApoE genotype, or years of infection. However, greater years of infection had worse visual learning performance. sCD14 and CD4 nadir positively correlated with information processing speed and fine motor skills, respectively. LPS correlated with viral load but not cognitive impairment. Monocyte gene expression confirmed a chronic inflammatory profile that correlated with viral load but not cognition. No blood index or profile was associated with overall NP impairment.