Loss of CCR2 expressing non-classical monocytes are associated with cognitive impairment in antiretroviral therapy-naïve HIV-infected Thais.

Abstract

HIV DNA in monocytes has been linked to HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND), however, characterization of monocyte subsets associated with HAND remains unclear. We completed a prospective study of antiretroviral therapy-naïve, HIV-infected Thais, with varying degrees of cognitive impairment, compared to HIV-uninfected controls. Monocyte subsets' CCR2, CCR5 and CD163 expression were profiled and inflammatory markers in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), measured. Lower numbers of CCR2(+)non-classical monocytes were associated with worse neuropsychological test performance (r=0.43, p=0.024). CCR2(+)non-classical monocyte count inversely correlated with CSF neopterin (r=-0.43, p=0.035) and plasma TNF-α levels (r=-0.40, p=0.041). These data benchmark CCR2(+)non-classical monocytes as an independent index of cognitive impairment.

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