Plasma CD16+ Extracellular Vesicles Associate with Carotid Artery Intima-Media Thickness in HIV+ Adults on Combination Antiretroviral Therapy.

TitlePlasma CD16+ Extracellular Vesicles Associate with Carotid Artery Intima-Media Thickness in HIV+ Adults on Combination Antiretroviral Therapy.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
Authorsde Menezes, EGMarques, Deng, X, Liu, J, Bowler, SA, Shikuma, CM, Stone, M, Hunt, PW, Ndhlovu, LC, Norris, PJ
Date Published2022 Jun 28
KeywordsAdult, Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active, Biomarkers, Cardiovascular Diseases, Carotid Arteries, Carotid Intima-Media Thickness, Extracellular Vesicles, GPI-Linked Proteins, HIV Infections, Humans, Inflammation, Receptors, IgG, Risk Factors

HIV-infected individuals have increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) despite suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART). This is likely a result of persistent immune activation and systemic inflammation. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have emerged as critical mediators of intercellular communication and may drive inflammation contributing to CVD. EVs were characterized in plasma from 74 HIV-infected individuals on combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) and 64 HIV-uninfected controls with paired carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) assessment. EVs were profiled with markers reflecting lymphoid, myeloid, and endothelial origin. Seventeen plasma inflammatory biomarkers were also assessed. Human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) apoptosis was quantified after EV exposure. A significant correlation was observed in HIV-infected participants between cIMT and EVs expressing CD16, and the monocyte-related markers CD4, CD14, and CX3CR1 showed a similar but nonsignificant association with cIMT. No significant correlation between cIMT measurements from HIV-uninfected individuals and EVs was observed. Levels of serum amyloid A, C-reactive protein, and myeloperoxidase significantly correlated with CD14+, CD16+, and CX3CR1+ EVs. No correlation was noted between cIMT and soluble inflammatory markers. HUVECs showed increased necrosis after exposure to the EV-containing fraction of plasma derived from HIV-infected individuals compared to uninfected controls. Our study reveals that EVs expressing monocyte markers correlated with cIMT in HIV-infected individuals on cART. Moreover, EV fractions derived from HIV-infected individuals lead to greater endothelial cell death via necrotic pathways. Collectively, EVs have potential as biomarkers of and therapeutic targets in the pathogenesis of CVD in the setting of treated HIV disease. IMPORTANCE HIV-infected individuals have a 2-fold-increased risk of cardiovascular disease compared with the general population, yet the mechanisms underlying this comorbidity are unclear. Extracellular vesicles have emerged as important mediators in cell-cell communication and, given what we know of their biology, may drive inflammation contributing to cardiovascular disease in this vulnerable population.

Alternate JournalmBio
PubMed ID35435733
Grant ListP30 AI027763 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States