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Cytokine. 2013 Mar;61(3):808-15. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2012.12.013. Epub 2013 Jan 26.

Maraviroc reduces cytokine expression and secretion in human adipose cells without altering adipogenic differentiation.

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Department Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Institute of Biomedicine, University of Barcelona, CIBER Fisiopatologia de la Obesidad y Nutrición, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.


Maraviroc (MVC) is a drug approved for use as part of HAART in treatment-experienced HIV-1 patients with CCR5-tropic virus. Despite the current concerns on the alterations in adipose tissue that frequently appear in HIV-infected patients under HAART, there is no information available on the effects of MVC on adipose tissue. Here we studied the effects of MVC during and after the differentiation of human adipocytes in culture, and compared the results with the effects of efavirenz (EFV). We measured the acquisition of adipocyte morphology; the gene expression levels of markers for mitochondrial toxicity, adipogenesis and inflammation; and the release of adipokines and cytokines to the medium. Additionally, we determined the effects of MVC on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced pro-inflammatory cytokine expression in adipocytes. Unlike EFV-treated pre-adipocytes, MVC-treated pre-adipocytes showed no alterations in the capacity to differentiate into adipocytes and accumulated lipids normally. Consistent with this, there were no changes in the mRNA levels of PPARγ or SREBP-1c, two master regulators of adipogenesis. In addition, MVC caused a significant decrease in the gene expression and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, whereas EFV had the opposite effect. Moreover, MVC lowered inflammation-related gene expression and inhibited the LPS-induced expression of pro-inflammatory genes in differentiated adipocytes. We conclude that MVC does not alter adipocyte differentiation but rather shows anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting the expression and secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Collectively, our results suggest that MVC may minimize adverse effects on adipose tissue development, metabolism, and inflammation, and thus could be a potentially beneficial component of antiretroviral therapy.

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