Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers of central nervous system dysfunction in HIV-infected patients


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A Master's thesis.
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Master (thesis) (master)
Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers of central nervous system dysfunction in HIV-infected patients
Kalubi M.
Du Pasquier R.
Jilek Terrasse S.
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Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine
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Background :¦In addition to opportunistic infections of the central nervous system (CNS), which are due to immunosuppression related to HIV, the latter virus, itself, can cause neuropathological abnormalities which are located mainly in the basal ganglia and are characterized by microglial giant cells, reactive astrocytosis and perivascular monocytes. This HIV encephalopathy is characterized, clinically, by psycho-motor slowing, memory loss, difficulties in complex tasks requiring executive functions, as well as motor disorders .These cognitive deficits are grouped under the acronym of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). In fact, HANDs are subdivided in three groups in accordance with the severity of the cognitive impairment: Asymptomatic Neurocognitive Impairment (ANI), Mild/moderate Neurocognitive Disorders (MND) and HIV Associated Dementia (HAD).¦While the incidence of HAD has significantly decreased in the era of combined antiretrobiral therapy (cART), the prevalence of milder forms of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders HAND seem to have increased. There are many potential reasons to explain this state of facts.¦An important question is to understand how soon the brain may be affected by HIV. Since performing a biopsy in these patients is not an issue, the study of the CSF represents the best available way to look at putative biomarkers of inflammation/neurodegeneration in the CNS. Here, we wanted to examined the putative usefulness of different biomarkers as early indicators of anti-retroviral failure at the level of the CNS. We chose to study the CSF levels of:¦Amyloid-β 1-42 (Aβ42), Tau total (tTau), phosphorylated Tau (pTau), Neopterin and S100-β.¦Indeed, these molecules are representative biomarkers of the major cells of the CNS, i.e. neurons,¦macrophages/microglia and astrocytes.¦To examine how sensitive were these CSF biomarkers to indicate CNS insults caused by HIV, we proposed to take advantage of the MOST (Monotherapy Switzerland/Thailand study) study, recently published in AIDS. Thus, we collaborated with Prof. Pietro Vernazza in St-Gall. In MOST study, monotherapy (MT) consisting in ritonavir-boosted lopinavir (LPV/r) was compared to continuous conventional antiretroviral therapy including several molecules, hereafter referred as CT¦Methods :We tested 61 cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from 52 patients enrolled in MOST, including 34 CSF samples of CT and 27 of MT (mean duration on MT: 47+20 weeks) in patients who maintained full VL suppression in blood (<50cps/ml). Using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), we determined the CSF concentration of S100-beta (astrocytosis), neopterin (microglia, inflammation), total Tau (tTau), phosphorylated Tau (pTau), and amyloid-beta 1-42 (Abeta), the latter three markers indicating neuronal damages. The CSF samples of 37 HIV-negative patients with Alzheimer dementia (AD) served as controls. Results are expressed in pg/ml and reported as median ± interquartile range. Mann Whitney-U test was used to compare the results of a given biomarker between two groups and the Fisher test to compare frequencies.¦Results: We found a higher concentration of S100-beta (570±1132) and neopterin (2.5±2.9) in the CSF of MT versus CT (0±532, p=0.002 and 1.2±2.5, p=0.058, respectively). A cutoff of 940 pg/ml for S100-beta allowed to discriminate MT (11 above versus 16 below) from CT (1 vs 33, p=0.0003). At a lesser extent, a cutoff of 11 pg/ml for neopterin separated MT (4 above versus 23) from CT (0 vs 34, p=0.034) (Figure).¦In AD, tTau was higher (270±414) and Abeta lower (234±328) than in CT (150±153, p=0.0078, and 466±489, p=0.007, respectively). Such as for CT, Abeta was lower in AD than in MT (390±412, p=0.01). However, contrasting with CT, the levels of tTau were not different between AD and MT (199±177, p=0.11). S100b (173±214; p=0.0006) and neopterin (1.1±0.9; p=0.0014) were lower in AD than MT.¦Conclusions: Despite full VL-suppression in blood, HIV monotherapy is sufficient to trigger inflammation and, especially, astrocytosis. CSF markers of patients on CT have the same profile as reported for healthy subjects, suggesting that CT permits a good control of HIV in the brain. Finally, the levels of tTau, which are relatively similar between AD and MT patients, suggest that neurons are damaged during monotherapy.
HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND), Biomarkers (neopterin, S100-beta, amyloid, tau), Monotherapy, Alzheimer's disease
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13/07/2012 13:58
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20/08/2019 14:49
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