In the general population, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol efflux capacity (HCEC) relates inversely to incident cardiovascular events. Previous studies have suggested that HCEC is decreased in HIV and that antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation might improve HCEC.Objective:
To evaluate HCEC in the context of ART initiation and immune activation in HIV.Design and Outcome Measures:
Baseline HCEC from 10 ART-naive HIV-infected males and 12 prospectively matched non-HIV-infected males were analyzed. In the HIV cohort, HCEC 6 months after elvitegravir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (E/C/F/TDF) therapy was evaluated. HCEC served as the primary outcome and was measured by the ability of J774 mouse macrophages to efflux cholesterol. Our ex vivo assay used two cholesterol acceptors [apolipoprotein B (apoB)-depleted sera or purified HDL] and modulation of cellular efflux pathways using a liver X receptor (LXR) agonist.Results:
The median age was 34 years [interquartile range (IQR), 27 to 51], and baseline HDL was 46 mg/dL (IQR, 38 to 61). HCEC was significantly greater in the non-HIV-infected subjects than in the HIV-infected subjects at baseline. HCEC, assessed using apoB-depleted sera, significantly increased after ART (no LXR agonist, baseline: median, 8.1%; IQR, 7.0% to 11.9%; after ART: median, 12.9%; IQR, 10.4% to 21.1%; P = 0.006; LXR agonist, baseline, 1.3% ± 1.3%; after ART, 2.5% ± 1.0%; P = 0.02), although not to the levels in the non-HIV-infected subjects (no LXR agonist: median, 14.9%; IQR, 11.5% to 19.1%; LXR agonist: 5.8% ± 1.3%). HCEC, assessed using purified HDL, did not significantly increase after ART. The change in HCEC with ART related inversely to the change in the percentage of CD14−CD16+ (nonclassical) monocytes (ρ = −0.74, P = 0.04) and directly to the change in the percentage of CD14+CD16− (classical) monocytes (ρ = 0.72, P = 0.045).Conclusions:
Our data suggest improvement of HCEC with E/C/F/TDF and a relationship between the ART-induced decrease in immune activation and ART-induced improvement in HCEC.