Association between HIV replication and cholesterol in peripheral blood mononuclear cells in HIV-infected patients interrupting HAART

Eugenia Negredo, Isabel Puigdomènech, Silvia Marfil, Jordi Puig, Núria Pérez-Álvarez, Lidia Ruiz, Celestino Rey-joly, Bonaventura Clotet, Julià Blanco

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Cellular cholesterol is essential for HIV replication and may control HIV spread. HIV, in turn, appears to control cholesterol metabolism. Objectives To describe the relationships between serum lipids, cellular cholesterol and viral replication during highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) interruption. Methods: We have correlated virological parameters with the level of circulating lipids in serum and the content of cellular cholesterol in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). The study included 33 patients interrupting HAART with (n = 23) or without (n = 10) atorvastatin treatment. Results: Atorvastatin treatment did not modify PBMC cholesterol levels at week 4 after HAART interruption, although it significantly reduced serum cholesterol (total and LDL, where LDL stands for low density lipoprotein) (P < 0.05). Serum cholesterol or LDL marginally influenced PBMC cholesterol since no significant correlations were found between these parameters either at 0 or 4 weeks after HAART interruption. Analysis of virological data in all patients revealed a negative trend (P = 0.07) between baseline PBMC cholesterol and absolute CD4 T cell counts at baseline but a poor correlation (P = 0.18) with the viral load (VL) at week 4. Separate analysis of control patients showed a correlation between baseline PBMC cholesterol and VL at week 4 (P = 0.01). However, atorvastatin treatment abrogated this correlation by increasing viral replication in individuals with low cellular cholesterol. Conclusions: Our data underscore the potential relevance of PBMC cholesterol in in vivo HIV replication and the complex effects of atorvastatin that seem to be unrelated to PBMC cholesterol. © The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-404
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2008


  • Atorvastatin
  • Lipid
  • Membrane
  • Metabolism
  • PBMC
  • Replication


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