Amino Acid Concentrations in HIV-Infected Youth Compared to Healthy Controls and Associations with CD4 Counts and Inflammation

Academic Article


  • Amino acids play critical roles in metabolism, cell function, body composition and immunity, but little data on plasma amino acid concentrations in HIV are available. We evaluated plasma amino acid concentrations and associations with CD4 counts and inflammatory biomarkers in HIV-infected youth. HIV-infected subjects with a high (≥500 cells/mm3) and low (<500 cells/mm3) current CD4+ T cell counts were compared to one another and to a matched healthy control group. Plasma concentrations of 19 amino acids were determined with an amino acid analyzer. Plasma levels of interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor receptor-I, and soluble vascular cellular adhesion molecule-I were also measured. Seventy-nine HIV-infected subjects (40 and 39 with high and low CD4+ T cell counts, respectively) and 40 controls were included. There were no differences in amino acid concentrations between HIV-infected subjects with high or low CD4+ T cell counts. When combined, the HIV-infected group exhibited significantly lower median plasma concentrations compared to controls for total, essential, branched-chain and sulfur amino acids, as well as for 12 individual amino acids. Glutamate was the only amino acid that was higher in the HIV-infected group. There were no significant correlations between amino acid endpoints and inflammatory biomarkers for either HIV-infected group or controls. Plasma amino acid concentrations were lower in HIV-infected youth compared to healthy controls, regardless of immune status, while glutamate concentrations were elevated. These findings can inform future interventional studies designed to improve metabolic and clinical parameters influenced by amino acid nutriture.
  • Authors

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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ziegler TR; Judd SE; Ruff JH; McComsey GA; Eckard AR
  • Start Page

  • 681
  • End Page

  • 689
  • Volume

  • 33
  • Issue

  • 7