Introduction Plasma triglycerides (TG) and HDL-C are inversely related in Metabolic Syndrome (MetS), due to exchange of VLDL-TG for HDL-cholesteryl esters catalyzed by cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP). We investigated the relationship of TG to HDL-C in highly-active antiretroviral drug (HAART)-treated HIV patients. Methods Fasting plasma TG and HDL-C levels were compared in 179 hypertriglyceridemic HIV/HAART patients and 71 HIV-negative persons (31 normotriglyceridemic (NL) and 40 hypertriglyceridemic due to type IV hyperlipidemia (HTG)). CETP mass and activity were compared in 19 NL and 87 HIV/HAART subjects. Results Among the three groups, a plot of HDL-C vs. TG gave similar slopes but significantly different y-intercepts (9.24 ± 0.45, 8.16 ± 0.54, 6.70 ± 0.65, sqrt(HDL-C) for NL, HIV and HTG respectively; P < 0.001); this difference persisted after adjusting HDL-C for TG, age, BMI, gender, glucose, CD4 count, viral load and HAART strata (7.18 ± 0.20, 6.20 ± 0.05 and 4.55 ± 0.15 sqrt(HDL-C) for NL, HIV and HTG, respectively, P < 0.001). CETP activity was not different between NL and HIV, but CETP mass was significantly higher in HIV (1.47 ± 0.53 compared to 0.93 ± 0.27 μg/mL, P < 0.0001), hence CETP specific activity was lower in HIV (22.67 ± 13.46 compared to 28.46 ± 8.24 nmol/μg/h, P = 0.001). Conclusions Dyslipidemic HIV/HAART patients have a distinctive HDL-C plasma concentration adjusted for TG. The weak inverse relationship between HDL-C and TG is not explained by altered total CETP activity; it could result from a non-CETP-dependent mechanism or a decrease in CETP function due to inhibitors of CETP activity in HIV patients' plasma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism