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HIV and antioxidant lipoprotein-associated effect. Is there a correlation?

Purpose of the study

HIV-patients often develop long-term pro-atherogenic metabolic alterations. HDL-cholesterol (C) concentration is known to be decreased in HIV-infected patients. Lipoprotein metabolism changes occurring as host response to infection include an antioxidant effect that is part of the defense system. Paraoxonase (PON) are HDL-associated enzymes that, due to their antioxidant properties, have been considered the main factor responsible for the HDL anti-atherogenic role. Higher HDL concentrations have been associated with a better disease course in HIV patients undergoing antiretroviral treatment. The aim of this study was to determine relationship between HIV-infection in treatment-naïve patients and activity of PON-1 and lipoprotein concentrations.


This is an observational prospective study in HIV-infected treatment-naïve patients, without treatment criteria, and without viral hepatitis co-infection. After informed consent, demographic characteristics and blood samples were collected to assess CD4+ lymphocyte, viral load, total-C, HDL-C, LDL-C, triglycerides and PON-1 activity. PON-1 activity was assessed by quantification of nitrophenol formation by spectrophotometry and was expressed as U/L. Chi-square test and Student's t-test were used to compare, respectively, categorical and continuous variables. Spearman's test was used to analyze the correlation between PON-1 activity and HDL-C, LDL-C, total-C and CD4+ count.

Summary of results

29 patients: male 18 (62%); female 11 (38%); mean age 38.36 ± 12.02 years; mean CD4+ count 501 ± 233,75 cells/μL; mean VL 3.99 ± 1.01 log10 copies/mL. Mean total-C: 177.69 ± 38.45 mg/dL; HDL-C: 51.50 ± 20.321 mg/dL; LDL-C: 113.27 ± 29.36 mg/dL; triglycerides 106.72 ± 113.91 mg/dL; PON-1 activity: 69.26 ± 20.50 U/L. PON-1 activity was significantly higher in patients with >350 cells/μL (p = 0.008). A significant inverse relation was observed between PON-1 activity and LDL-C (p = 0.03; r: 0.69).


According to our results, HIV-infected patients with CD4+ lymphocyte >350 cells/μL revealed greater PON-1 activity, presumably associated with an antioxidant effect, less oxidative stress and less metabolic disturbance. There was no correlation with total-C, HDL-C and viral load. A possible inverse correlation was found with LDL-C levels.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Pereira, S., Batuca, J., Caixas, U. et al. HIV and antioxidant lipoprotein-associated effect. Is there a correlation?. JIAS 11 (Suppl 1), P96 (2008).

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