Association of HIV viral load with monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and atherosclerosis burden measured by magnetic resonance imaging

Michelle FIoris-Moore, Zahi A. Fayad, Joan W. Berman, Venkatesh Mani, Ellie E. Schoenbaum, Robert S. Klein, Karen B. Weinshelbaum, Valentin Fuster, Andrea A. Howard, Yungtai Lo, Alison D. Schecter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: HIV-infected individuals may be at increased risk for atherosclerosis. Although this is partially attributable to metabolic factors, HIV-associated inflammation may play a role. Objective: To investigate associations of HIV disease with serum monocyte chemoattractant protein-1/chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (MCP-1/CCL2) levels and atherosclerosis burden. Design: A cross-sectional analysis. Methods: Serum MCP-1/CCL2, fasting lipids, and glucose tolerance were measured in 98 HIV-infected and 79 demographically similar uninfected adults. Eighty-four participants had MRI of the carotid arteries and thoracic aorta to measure atherosclerosis burden. Multivariate analyses were performed using linear regression. Results: Mean MCP-1/CCL2 levels did not differ between HIV-infected and uninfected participants (P = 0.65). Among HIV-infected participants, after adjusting for age, BMI, and cigarette smoking, HIV-1 viral load was positively associated with MCP-1/CCL2 (P=0.02). Multivariate analyses adjusting for sex, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, total cholesterokhigh-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio, cigarette smoking, MCP-1/ CCL2, and protease inhibitor use found that HIV infection was associated with greater mean thoracic aorta vessel wall area (VWA, P<0.01) and vessel wall thickness (VWT, P=0.03), but not with carotid artery parameters. Compared with being uninfected, having detectable HIV-1 viremia was associated with greater mean thoracic aorta VWA (P<0.01) and VWT (P = 0.03), whereas being HIV-infected with undetectable viral load was associated with greater thoracic aorta VWA (P = 0.02) but not VWT (P = 0.15). There was an independent positive association of MCP-1/CCL2 with thoracic aorta VWA (P = 0.01) and VWT (P=0.01). Conclusion: HIV-1 viral burden is associated with higher serum levels of MCP-1/CCL2 and with atherosclerosis burden, as assessed by thoracic aorta VWA and VWT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)941-949
Number of pages9
Issue number8
StatePublished - May 15 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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