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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2018 Nov 1;315(5):E892-E903. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00175.2018. Epub 2018 Jul 24.

Differential contribution of chronic binge alcohol and antiretroviral therapy to metabolic dysregulation in SIV-infected male macaques.

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Department of Physiology, Comprehensive Alcohol Research Center, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center , New Orleans, Louisiana.
Divison of Veterinary Medicine, Tulane National Primate Research Center , Covington, Louisiana.
School of Medicine, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center , New Orleans, Louisiana.


The incidence of alcohol use disorder (AUD) is higher among people living with HIV (PLWH). The advent and continued development of antiretroviral therapy (ART) has significantly reduced mortality, shifting the course of HIV infection to a chronic illness. However, this is associated with an increased incidence of comorbid conditions, including type 2 diabetes mellitus, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular complications. Using a nonhuman primate model of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection, previous studies have demonstrated that chronic binge alcohol (CBA) administration decreases whole body insulin responsiveness, irrespective of ART administration. The objective of the current study was to determine the effects of CBA and ART on insulin-sensitive peripheral tissues before the development of overt clinical symptoms of SIV disease. Our results show that CBA reduced omental adipocyte cell size, increased collagen expression, and decreased the in vitro differentiation potential of adipose-derived stem cells. In contrast, it did not alter skeletal muscle or omental or hepatic expression of insulin signaling proteins. However, ART significantly decreased skeletal muscle expression of phosphatase and tensin homolog, total mechanistic target of rapamycin, and ribosomal protein S6. In addition, ART increased hepatic phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase α and increased gene expression of key enzymes required for gluconeogenesis and fatty acid synthesis. These findings suggest that CBA and ART differentially promote adverse metabolic effects in an organ-specific manner that may underlie insulin resistance associated with alcohol, SIV, and ART. Whether this is translated in PLWH with AUD remains to be determined.


SIV disease; alcohol; antiretroviral therapy; insulin signaling; metabolism

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