BACKGROUND: Cognitive impairment persists despite suppression of plasma human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) RNA. Monocyte-related immune activation is a likely mechanism. We examined immune activation and cognition in a cohort of HIV-infected and uninfected women from the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS).
METHODS: Blood levels of activation markers, soluble CD163 (sCD163), soluble CD14 (sCD14), CRP, IL-6, and a gut microbial translocation marker (intestinal fatty acid binding protein (I-FABP)) were measured in 253 women (73% HIV-infected). Markers were compared to concurrent (within ± one semiannual visit) neuropsychological testing performance.
RESULTS: Higher sCD163 levels were associated with worse overall performance and worse verbal learning, verbal memory, executive function, psychomotor speed, and fine motor skills (P < .05 for all comparisons). Higher sCD14 levels were associated with worse verbal learning, verbal memory, executive function, and psychomotor speed (P < .05 for all comparisons). Among women with virological suppression, sCD163 remained associated with overall performance, verbal memory, psychomotor speed, and fine motor skills, and sCD164 remained associated with executive function (P < .05 for all comparisons). CRP, IL-6, and I-FABP were not associated with worse cognitive performance.
CONCLUSIONS: Monocyte activation was associated with worse cognitive performance, and associations persisted despite viral suppression. Persistent inflammatory mechanisms related to monocytes correlate to clinically pertinent brain outcomes.
- HIV infection
- cognition disorders
- intesticial fatty acid-binding protein (1-19)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Infectious Diseases