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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2008 Jan;24(1):34-42. doi: 10.1089/aid.2007.0154.

Viral and host correlates of serum resistin in simian AIDS.

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Harvard Medical School, New England Regional Primate Research Center, Southborough, Massachusetts 01772, USA.


Resistin is an adipocytokine with a proposed dual role in metabolism and inflammation. In light of the ability to promote inflammatory responses, adipocytokines may prove key factors in modulating the host response to HIV. This study utilizes the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) model of HIV/AIDS to investigate changes in serum resistin levels following dietary intervention and SIV infection and determine associations with measures of body composition and disease severity. Resistin levels, body composition (n = 34), and insulin resistance (n = 16) were determined in healthy rhesus macaques. A subset of animals (n = 8) was placed on an atherogenic diet (AD) and subsequently inoculated with SIVmac239. Longitudinal measures of serum resistin, cytokines, viral load, lymphocyte subsets, and body composition were obtained. In healthy macaques consuming a standard diet, resistin levels correlated positively with total fat mass (r = 0.49; p < 0.01) and tissue fat percent (r = 0.53; p < 0.01) but failed to associate with measures of insulin resistance. In contrast, a negative correlation was noted between these measures of adiposity and resistin following SIV inoculation (r = -0.27; p < 0.05 and r = -0.24; p < 0.05, respectively). Viral load correlated positively with serum resistin (r = 0.32; p < 0.01). Serum levels of MCP-1 and sTNF RII demonstrated no correlation with resistin in normal animals on a standard diet, while a significant positive correlation was observed following SIV infection (r = 0.52; p < 0.0001 and r = 0.59; p < 0.0001, respectively). Findings indicate a fundamental difference in the relationship between resistin and body composition following SIV infection and suggest that elevations in resistin parallel measures of disease severity including loss of body fat and viral replication.

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