Improved Cognitive Performance and Reduced Monocyte Activation in Virally Suppressed Chronic HIV After Dual CCR2 and CCR5 Antagonism

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Objective:To evaluate changes in neuropsychological (NP) performance and in plasma and cell surface markers of peripheral monocyte activation/migration after treatment with cenicriviroc (CVC), a dual C-C chemokine receptor type 2 (CCR2) and type 5 (CCR5) antagonist, in treatment-experienced, HIV-infected individuals.Setting:Single-arm, 24-week, open-label clinical trial.Methods:HIV-infected individuals on antiretroviral therapy ≥1 year with plasma HIV RNA ≤50 copies per milliliter and below-normal cognitive performance [defined as age-, sex-, and education-adjusted NP performance (NPZ) <−0.5 in a single cognitive domain or in global performance] were enrolled. Changes over 24 weeks were assessed for global and domain-specific NPZ scores, plasma markers of monocyte/macrophage activation [neopterin, soluble (s)CD14, and sCD163] quantified by ELISA, and CCR2 and CCR5 expression on monocytes, and T cells measured by flow cytometry.Results:Seventeen of 20 enrolled participants completed the study. Improvements over 24 weeks were observed in global NPZ [median change (Δ) = 0.24; P = 0.008], and in cognitive domains of attention (Δ0.23; P = 0.011) and working memory (Δ0.44; P = 0.017). Plasma levels of sCD163, sCD14 and neopterin decreased significantly (P's < 0.01). CCR2 and CCR5 monocyte expression remained unchanged; however, CCR5 levels on CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and CCR2 expression on CD4+ T cells increased (P's < 0.01).Conclusions:CVC given over 24 weeks was associated with improved NP test performance and decreased plasma markers of monocyte immune activation in virally suppressed, HIV-infected participants. These data potentially link changes in monocyte activation to cognitive performance. Further study of CVC for HIV cognitive impairment in a randomized controlled study is warranted.

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