Increased Peripheral Inflammation Is Associated with Structural Brain Changes and Reduced Blood Flow in People with Virologically Controlled HIV

Tricia H. Burdo, Jake A. Robinson, Sarah Cooley, Mandy D. Smith, Jacqueline Flynn, Kalen J. Petersen, Brittany Nelson, Elizabeth Westerhaus, Julie Wisch, Beau M. Ances

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: While antiretroviral therapy (ART) has improved outcomes for people with HIV (PWH), brain dysfunction is still evident. Immune activation and inflammation remain elevated in PWH receiving ART, thereby contributing to morbidity and mortality. Previous studies demonstrated reduced functional and structural changes in PWH; however, underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Methods: Our cohort consisted of PWH with ART adherence and viral suppression (< 50 copies/mL; N = 173). Measurements included immune cell markers of overall immune health (CD4/CD8 T-cell ratio) and myeloid inflammation (CD16+ monocytes), plasma markers of inflammatory status (soluble CD163 and CD14), and structural and functional neuroimaging (volume and cerebral blood flow [CBF], respectively). Results: Decreased CD4/CD8 ratios correlated with reduced brain volume, and higher levels of inflammatory CD16+ monocytes were associated with reduced brain volume in total cortex and gray matter. An increase in plasma soluble CD14-A marker of acute peripheral inflammation attributed to circulating microbial products-was associated with reduced CBF within the frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital cortices and total gray matter. Conclusions: CD4/CD8 ratio and number of CD16+ monocytes, which are chronic immune cell markers, are associated with volumetric loss in the brain. Additionally, this study shows a potential new association between plasma soluble CD14 and CBF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1071-1079
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume228
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 15 2023

Keywords

  • HIV
  • brain
  • inflammation
  • neuroimaging

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