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Open Access Research article

Reduced IgM levels and elevated IgG levels against oxidized low-density lipoproteins in HIV-1 infection

Aylin Yilmaz1*, Karin Jennbacken2 and Linda Fogelstrand3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Infectious Diseases, Institute of Biomedicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

2 Wallenberg Laboratory, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

3 Department of Clinical Chemistry and Transfusion Medicine, Institute of Biomedicine, all at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2014, 14:143  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-143

Published: 17 March 2014

Abstract

Background

Chronic HIV infection is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease caused by atherosclerosis. Oxidized forms of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) are present in atherosclerotic lesions and constitute major epitopes for natural antibodies. IgM has been shown to be protective against atherosclerosis, whereas the role of corresponding IgG is less clear. The objective of this study was to determine if HIV + individuals have disturbed levels of IgM and IgG directed against oxidized forms of LDL as compared to HIV- individuals.

Methods

Ninety-one HIV + patients and 92 HIV- controls were included in this retrospective study. Circulating levels of IgG and IgM directed against two forms of oxidized LDL; copper oxidized (OxLDL) and malondialdehyde modified (MDA-LDL), total IgM and IgG, C-reactive protein (CRP), soluble CD14, and apolipoproteins A1 and B were determined.

Results

HIV + individuals had slightly lower levels of IgM against MDA-LDL and higher levels of IgG against MDA-LDL, OxLDL, and total IgG, than HIV- controls. Anti-MDA-LDL and Anti-OxLDL IgG displayed a positive correlation with viral load and a negative correlation with the CD4+ T-cell count. HIV + individuals also displayed elevated CRP and soluble CD14 levels compared to HIV- individuals, but there were no correlations between CRP or soluble CD14 and specific antibodies.

Conclusions

HIV infection is associated with higher levels of IgG including specific IgG against oxidized forms of LDL, and lower IgM against the same epitope. In addition to dyslipidemia, immune activation, HIV-replication and an accumulation of risk factors for atherosclerosis, this adverse antibody profile may be of major importance for the increased risk of cardiovascular disease in HIV + individuals.