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Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2002 Nov;57(5):643-6.

Serum leptin and CD4+ T lymphocytes in HIV+ children during highly active antiretroviral therapy.

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Istituto di Endocrinologia e Oncologia Sperimentale, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche and Cattedra di Immunologia, Dipartimento di Biologia e Patologia Cellulare e Molecolare, Università di Napoli Federico II, Roma, Italy.



Because leptin, the adipocyte-derived hormone, affects thymocyte survival, proliferation of naïve T lymphocytes and the production of proinflammatory cytokines, we aimed to investigate the role of this molecule in immunoreconstitution during highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).


Prospective longitudinal cohort study. A series of 20 HIV+ children were studied. The subjects were grouped by their increase in serum leptin levels after HAART.


All participants were weight-stable, free of endocrine disorders and opportunistic infections and equally distributed for sex (males, n=10; females, n=10). Body mass index (BMI), serum lipids, leptin, CD4+ T cells and HIV-1 RNA were measured before initiation of HAART and after a 2-year follow-up.


Serum leptin concentration positively correlated with CD4+ lymphocyte number before treatment. HAART significantly reduced viraemia and increased serum levels of lipids in all patients, whereas a significant increase in CD4+ cells and serum leptin was observed in the majority of patients. Notably, in children where HAART was not effective in increasing CD4+ lymphocyte counts, serum leptin did not increase.


To our knowledge, these findings reveal for the first time a novel link among CD4+ T lymphocytes, serum leptin and highly active anteretroviral theraphy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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