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Impact of Monocytes on Inflammation and Aging in HIV
A Poster Spotlight From CROI 2012

By Nelson Vergel

March 7, 2012

Nelson Vergel, B.S.Ch.E., M.B.A.

Nelson Vergel, B.S.Ch.E., M.B.A.

This study compared a small group of HIV-infected women with matched HIV-uninfected controls and found that HIV-infected women had similar levels of immune activation of monocytes compared to HIV-uninfected women 16 years older.

Monocytes are critical for mediating inflammation. This small study confirms what we have known for a few years: HIV-infected patients have immune activation and inflammation that produces accelerated aging of the immune system (i.e., immune senescence), even if they have an undetectable HIV viral load.

It will be interesting to see future studies that attempt to decrease this activation and inflammation with therapeutic agents.

Interestingly, another poster presented by a research team from Australia found premature aging of monocytes in young, HIV-infected men compared to HIV-uninfected controls.

Yet another poster showed that the use of maraviroc (MVC, Selzentry, Celsentri) to intensify therapy in combination with successful HAART can decrease monocyte and CD8+ activation. This leads us to wonder if maraviroc may have anti-inflammatory properties that could slow down or reverse the activation and inflammation that causes immune senescence due to HIV.

For more information, read CROI poster 305, "Premature Age-related Changes in Monocytes from HIV+ Women," presented by Suzanne Crowe; poster 324, "HIV Infection Induces Premature Aging of Monocytes in Young HIV+ Men," presented by Anna Hearps; and poster 377, "Maraviroc Intensification in Virally Suppressed HIV Subjects Leads to Decreases in CD8+ T Cell Activation and Loss of Activated Monocytes from the Blood," presented by Lishomwa Ndhlovu.

Copyright © 2012 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

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