Chronic HIV infection leads to marked depletion of CD4 T cells in the gastrointestinal tract and increased microbial translocation measured by an increase in circulating lipopolysaccharide (LPS) levels. Here, we hypothesized that single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes encoding the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and CD14, the principal receptors for LPS, were associated with CD4 T-cell recovery postantiretroviral therapy (ART).
Prospective study of predominantly white HIV-infected participants receiving suppressive ART for at least 12 months. We analysed the CD14 SNPs C-260T and the TLR4 SNPs A+896G, C+1196T. We also determined the levels of LPS and soluble CD14 in plasma samples collected pre-ART and post-ART initiation. CD4 T-cell recovery was assessed by linear mixed models.
Following ART, individuals with a TT genotype compared with a CT or CC genotype for CD14 C-260T SNP showed higher levels of soluble CD14 (P = 0.008 and 0.003, respectively). The CC genotype for the CD14 C-260T SNP, compared with CT or TT, and the TLR4 SNP (AC/GT), compared with the homozygous genotype (AA/CC), were both independently associated with enhanced long-term CD4 T-cell recovery (>3 months; P < 0.001).
Polymorphisms in CD14 and TLR4 are independently associated with long-term CD4 T-cell recovery in HIV-infected individuals post-ART.