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No evidence of neuronal damage as measured by neurofilament light chain in a HIV cure study utilising a kick-and-kill approach

Alagaratnam, J; Stöhr, W; Toombs, J; Heslegrave, A; Zetterberg, H; Gisslén, M; Pett, S; ... RIVER trial study group, .; + view all (2021) No evidence of neuronal damage as measured by neurofilament light chain in a HIV cure study utilising a kick-and-kill approach. Journal of Virus Eradication , 7 (3) , Article 100056. 10.1016/j.jve.2021.100056. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: HIV-remission strategies including kick-and-kill could induce viral transcription and immune-activation in the central nervous system, potentially causing neuronal injury. We investigated the impact of kick-and-kill on plasma neurofilament light (NfL), a marker of neuro-axonal injury, in RIVER trial participants commencing antiretroviral treatment (ART) during primary infection and randomly allocated to ART-alone or kick-and-kill (ART + vaccination + vorinostat (ART + V + V)). DESIGN: Sub-study measuring serial plasma NfL concentrations. METHODS: Plasma NfL (using Simoa digital immunoassay), plasma HIV-1 RNA (using single-copy assay) and total HIV-1 DNA (using quantitative polymerase chain reaction in peripheral CD4+ T-cells) were measured at randomisation (following ≥22 weeks ART), week 12 (on final intervention day in ART + V + V) and week 18 post-randomisation. HIV-specific T-cells were quantified by intracellular cytokine staining at randomisation and week 12. Differences in plasma NfL longitudinally and by study arm were analysed using mixed models and Student's t-test. Associations with plasma NfL were assessed using linear regression and rank statistics. RESULTS: At randomisation, 58 male participants had median age 32 years and CD4+ count 696 cells/μL. No significant difference in plasma NfL was seen longitudinally and by study arm, with median plasma NfL (pg/mL) in ART-only vs ART + V + V: 7.4 vs 6.4, p = 0.16 (randomisation), 8.0 vs 6.9, p = 0.22 (week 12) and 7.1 vs 6.8, p = 0.74 (week 18). Plasma NfL did not significantly correlate with plasma HIV-1 RNA and total HIV-1 DNA concentration in peripheral CD4+ T-cells at any timepoint. While higher HIV-specific T-cell responses were seen at week 12 in ART + V + V, there were no significant correlations with plasma NfL. In multivariate analysis, higher plasma NfL was associated with older age, higher CD8+ count and lower body mass index. CONCLUSIONS: Despite evidence of vaccine-induced HIV-specific T-cell responses, we observed no evidence of increased neuro-axonal injury using plasma NfL as a biomarker up to 18 weeks following kick-and-kill, compared with ART-only.

Type: Article
Title: No evidence of neuronal damage as measured by neurofilament light chain in a HIV cure study utilising a kick-and-kill approach
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jve.2021.100056
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jve.2021.100056
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd under a Creative Commons license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Neurofilament light chain protein, Neuro-axonal injury, Vorinostat, HIV-1 therapeutic vaccination, HIV-1 remission approach, Kick and kill
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Neurodegenerative Diseases
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology > MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10136527
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