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Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 2014 Jan;74(1):67-73. doi: 10.3109/00365513.2013.859725. Epub 2013 Nov 22.

Non-traditional adipokines in pediatric HIV-related lipodystrophy: a-FABP as a biomarker of central fat accumulation.

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First Department of Pediatrics, University of Athens, 'Aghia Sophia' Children's Hospital , Athens.



Lipodystrophy characterized by adipose tissue redistribution and lipid and glucose metabolism abnormalities, is common among HIV-infected adults and children on highly-active-antiretroviral-therapy (HAART). In a previous study of HIV-infected children, we did not detect insulin resistance, despite a high percentage of body fat redistribution abnormalities.


To investigate the non-traditional adipokines Retinol-binding-Protein-4 (RBP4), neutrophil-gelatinase-associated-lipocalin (NGAL), a-Fatty-Acid-Binding-Protein (a-FABP) and YKL-40 in HIV-infected children on highly-active-antiretroviral-therapy and evaluate their possible association to lipodystrophic changes or insulin resistance.


Seventeen vertically HIV-infected children (mean age: 12.5 years, mean duration of HAART: 5.2 years) and 20 age- and BMI-matched controls were recruited. The HIV-children were re-evaluated after 12 months. RBP4, NGAL, a-FABP and YKL-40 were assessed at study entry and 12 months later and were correlated to body fat content and insulin resistance.


RBP4 values were similar at study entry and 12 months later in HIV-children and controls and showed no correlation to body fat or insulin resistance. NGAL was lower in HIV children at study entry but normalized after 12 months with no positive correlation to insulin resistance. a-FABP was positively correlated to body fat content, especially to trunk fat, both at initial evaluation and at follow-up in HIV children and, after prolonged highly-active-antiretroviral-therapy, it was also positively correlated to insulin resistance.


This study is the first one to demonstrate that a-FABP could be a useful marker in unraveling central fat accumulation in HIV-infected children on highly-active-antiretroviral-therapy. Large prospective studies are needed to confirm these results.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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