Immunometabolic Reprogramming in Response to HIV Infection Is Not Fully Normalized by Suppressive Antiretroviral Therapy

Pragney Deme, Leah H. Rubin, Danyang Yu, Yanxun Xu, Gertrude Nakigozi, Noeline Nakasujja, Aggrey Anok, Alice Kisakye, Thomas C. Quinn, Steven J. Reynolds, Richard Mayanja, James Batte, Maria J. Wawer, Ned C. Sacktor, Deanna Saylor, Norman J. Haughey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: HIV infection results in immunometabolic reprogramming. While we are beginning to understand how this metabolic reprogramming regulates the immune response to HIV infection, we do not currently understand the impact of ART on immunometabolism in people with HIV (PWH). Methods: Serum obtained from HIV-infected (n = 278) and geographically matched HIV seronegative control subjects (n = 300) from Rakai Uganda were used in this study. Serum was obtained before and ~2 years following the initiation of ART from HIV-infected individuals. We conducted metabolomics profiling of the serum and focused our analysis on metabolic substrates and pathways assocaited with immunometabolism. Results: HIV infection was associated with metabolic adaptations that implicated hyperactive glycolysis, enhanced formation of lactate, increased activity of the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP), decreased β-oxidation of long-chain fatty acids, increased utilization of medium-chain fatty acids, and enhanced amino acid catabolism. Following ART, serum levels of ketone bodies, carnitine, and amino acid metabolism were normalized, however glycolysis, PPP, lactate production, and β-oxidation of long-chain fatty acids remained abnormal. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that HIV infection is associated with an increased immunometabolic demand that is satisfied through the utilization of alternative energetic substrates, including fatty acids and amino acids. ART alone was insufficient to completely restore this metabolic reprogramming to HIV infection, suggesting that a sustained impairment of immunometabolism may contribute to chronic immune activation and comorbid conditions in virally suppressed PWH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1313
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • HIV infection
  • amino acid catabolism
  • antiretroviral therapy
  • comorbid conditions
  • fatty acid oxidation
  • glucose oxidation
  • immunometabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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