Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Cell and Molecular Biology
Tracey Taylor - Texas Southern University
Co-Author(s): Anjani Pandya, Kathleen Borgmann, and Anuja Ghorpade, UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth
Approximately forty million people worldwide live with the human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1), which can progress into HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND). The most severe form of HIV-1 Central Nervous System (CNS) Disease is HIV-1-associated encephalitis (HIVE) or dementia (HAD), which is a defining condition of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Research suggests that pro-inflammatory proteins and other biomarkers may correlate with the level of neurological impairment in seropositive patients. The purpose of the study is to identify biomarkers that may correlate with neurocognitive decline in patients of varying gender, race, age, and disease progression. A cohort of HIV-1 seropositive patients is currently being recruited from the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) infectious disease clinic. A study visit includes a review of HIV-1 relevant patient history, a sociodemographic survey, a neurocognitive assessment, and a donation of 30-40 milliliters (ml) of blood. Plasma samples, isolated from patient blood, were analyzed by ELISAs specific to human soluble CD40 ligand (sCD40L), Interleukin (IL)-6, CCL2 or monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1. Biomarker levels were correlated to neurocognitive assessments, socio-demographic responses, and relevant measures of HIV-1 infection medical history. The inflammatory biomarkers, CCL2 and TIMP-1, were elevated in the HIV-1 seropositive cohort as compared to non-infected controls. Further, as the neurocognitive abilities of the patient cohort declined, levels of CCL2, IL-6, and TIMP-1 were correspondingly elevated. While sCD40L demonstrated no significant correlations between infection status, longevity, or neurocognitive score, the inflammatory protein showed consistent, positive trends. Although patient T-cell counts did not correlate significantly with inflammatory biomarkers, trends were seen that may improve upon analyzing of the entire cohort. Our data shows that inflammatory biomarkers may play an important role in predicting HIV-1 disease progression through the comparison of plasma samples within the HIV-1 seropositive population.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): SMART: Funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Health, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, SMART grant 2R25HL007786-21 to Dr. Thomas Yorio. P20171046, NCMHD, “Texas Center for Minority Health, Education, Research, and Outreach”; Project 1: ‘Health Disparities and CD40L: Novel Biomarkers for HIV disease progression’. PI: Vishwanatha, J.K. Research Core Director Project 2 PI: Ghorpade, A.; Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP); National Science Foundation (NSF) Travel Supported by NSF REU Chemistry Leadership Group Travel Awards.
Faculty Advisor: Bobby Wilson,