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J Infect. 2010 Jul;61(2):101-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2010.06.002. Epub 2010 Jun 12.

The HIV-1/HAART associated metabolic syndrome - novel adipokines, molecular associations and therapeutic implications.

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University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece.


The use of highly active anti-retroviral therapy has been associated with effects on various metabolic and morphological parameters that are underlied by significant hormonal and cytokine changes. Novel adipokines may have a role in the pathogenesis of these changes. In fact, leptin deficiency and hypoadiponectinemia correlate with lipoatrophy and central fat accumulation respectively whereas hypoadiponectinemia also appears to be associated with insulin resistance and lipid disorders. Preliminary evidence from proof-of-concept studies suggests that administration of recombinant leptin in replacement doses and/or administration of medications that increase adiponectin levels may improve the HIV-1/HAART associated metabolic syndrome (HAMS). Immune effects of hypoleptinemia and hypoadiponectinemia might have a role in the evolution of the HAMS that need to be further elucidated. The role for resistin in relation to HAMS is controversial and further investigation is necessary. A potential role of other novel cytokines like visfatin, retinol-binding protein-4, apelin, acylation stimulating protein, omentin and vaspin needs to be further elucidated.

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