Immune reconstitution in ART treated, but not untreated HIV infection, is associated with abnormal beta cell function

Emily K. Sims, Grace Park, Kieren J. Mather, Raghavendra G. Mirmira, Ziyue Liu, Samir K. Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


HIV infection has been associated with increased diabetes risk, but prior work has mostly focused on insulin resistance, as opposed to beta cell effects, or included patients on antiretroviral therapies (ART) directly linked to metabolic toxicity. In this analysis, we measured markers of glucose homeostasis and beta cell function, stress, and death in fasting sera from a cross section of HIV+ individuals off ART (n = 43), HIV+ individuals on ART (n = 23), and HIV- controls (n = 39). Markers included glucose, HOMA%S, HOMA%B, proinsulin:C-peptide ratio (PI:C ratio), and circulating preproinsulin (INS) DNA. We performed multiple linear regressions with adjustments for age, sex, race, BMI, and smoking status. Compared to HIV- controls, HIV+ participants off ART exhibited similar beta cell function and insulin sensitivity, without increases in markers of beta cell stress or death. Specifically, in HIV+ participants with CD4 counts <350 cells/μL, PI:C ratios were lower than in HIV- controls (p<0.01), suggesting a reduction in intrinsic beta cell stress among this group. By contrast, HIV+ participants on ART had higher fasting glucose (p<0.0001) and lower HOMA%B (p<0.001) compared to HIV- controls. Among the entire HIV+ population, higher HIV RNA correlated with lower fasting glucose (r = -0.57, p<0.001), higher HOMA%B (r = 0.40, p = 0.001), and lower PI:C ratios (r = -0.42, p<0.001), whereas higher CD4 counts correlated with higher PI:C ratios (r = 0.2, p = 0.00499). Our results suggest that HIV seropositivity in the absence of ART does not worsen beta cell function or glucose homeostasis, but immune reconstitution with ART may be associated with worsened beta cell function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0197080
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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