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Keywords:

  • inflammation;
  • monocyte activation;
  • raltegravir;
  • sCD14;
  • women

Objectives

Soluble CD14 (sCD14) is a monocyte activation marker associated with increased mortality in HIV infection. We assessed 48-week changes in sCD14 and other inflammatory biomarkers in virologically suppressed, HIV-infected women switching to raltegravir (RAL) from a protease inhibitor (PI) or nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI).

Methods

HIV-infected women with central adiposity and HIV-1 RNA < 50 HIV-1 RNA copies/mL continued their thymidine-sparing nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) backbone and were randomized to switch to open-label RAL at week 0 (immediate) or 24 (delayed). In an exploratory analysis, inflammatory biomarkers were measured on stored fasting plasma.

Results

Of the 37 evaluable subjects, 78% were non-White; the median age was 43 years, the median body mass index (BMI) was 32 kg/m2 and the median CD4 count was 558 cells/μL. At baseline, biomarker values were similar between groups. After 24 weeks, median sCD14 significantly declined in subjects switching to RAL [−21% (P < 0.001) vs. PI/NNRTI −5% (P = 0.49); between-group P < 0.01]. After 48 weeks, immediate-switch subjects maintained this decline and delayed-switch subjects experienced a similar decline following the switch to RAL (−10%; within-group P < 0.01). Immediate-switch subjects also experienced an initial increase in tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α that was neither maintained after 48 weeks nor seen in delayed-switch subjects. After adjustment for multiple testing, only declines in sCD14 remained significant.

Conclusions

In this randomized trial of women with central adiposity, a switch to RAL from a PI or NNRTI was associated with a statistically significant decline in sCD14. Further studies are needed to determine whether integrase inhibitors have improved monocyte activation profiles compared with PIs and/or NNRTIs, and whether measured differences between antiretroviral agents translate to demonstrable clinical benefit.