Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 17000748
Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2006 Dec; 50(12): 3998-4004
Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) of human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients is associated with adverse effects, such as lipodystrophy and hyperlipidemia. The lipodystrophic syndrome is characterized by a peripheral lipoatrophy and/or fat accumulation in the abdomen and neck. In order to get insights into the physiopathological mechanisms underlying this syndrome, we treated mice with protease inhibitors (PIs) over a long period of time. Although atazanavir-treated mice presented the same circulating triglyceride concentration as control mice, lopinavir-ritonavir-treated mice rapidly became hypertriglyceridemic, with triglyceride levels of 200 mg/dl, whereas control and atazanavir-treated animals had triglyceride levels of 80 mg/dl. These results obtained with mice reproduce the metabolic disorder observed in humans. White adipose tissue (WAT) was analyzed after 8 weeks of treatment. Compared to the control or atazanavir treatment, lopinavir-ritonavir treatment induced a significant 25% weight reduction in the peripheral inguinal WAT depot. By contrast, the profound epididymal WAT depot was not affected. This effect was associated with a 5.5-fold increase in SREBP-1c gene expression only in the inguinal depot. Our results demonstrate that the long-term treatment of mice with PIs constitutes an interesting experimental model with which some aspects of the lipoatrophy induced by HAART in humans may be studied.