Background Perinatally HIV-infected children on anti-retroviral treatment (ART) are reported to have metabolic abnormalities such as dyslipidemia, lipodystrophy, and insulin resistance which potentially increase the risk of diabetes, kidney, liver and cardiovascular disease. Objective To elucidate HIV-mediated metabolic complications that sustain even during ART in perinatally HIV-infected children. Method We have carried out metabolic profiling of the plasma of treatment-naïve and ART-suppressed perinatally HIV-infected children and uninfected controls using 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy followed by statistical analysis and annotation. Result Validated multivariate analysis showed clear distinction among our study groups. Our results showed elevated levels of lactate, glucose, phosphoenolpyruvic acid, propionic acid, 2-ketobutyric acid and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle metabolites in untreated HIV-infected children compared to uninfected controls. ART normalized the levels of several metabolites, however the level of lactate, phosphoenolpyruvic acid, oxoglutaric acid, oxaloacetic acid, myoinositol and glutamine remained upregulated despite ART in HIV-infected children. Pathway analysis revealed perturbed propanoate metabolism, amino acid metabolism, glycolysis and TCA cycle in untreated and ART-suppressed HIV-infected children. Conclusion Developing therapeutic strategies targeting metabolic abnormalities may be beneficial for preventing diabetes, cardiovascular disease or other associated complications in perinatally HIV-infected children.
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