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BACKGROUND: The long-term immunologic effects of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in children with perinatally-acquired HIV (PHIV) have not been fully elucidated. Here, we investigated how the timing of ART initiation affects the long-term immune profile of children living with PHIV by measuring immunomodulatory plasma cytokines, chemokines, and adenosine deaminases (ADAs). METHODS: 40 PHIV participants initiated ART during infancy. 39 participant samples were available; 30 initiated ART ≤6 months (early-ART treatment); 9 initiated ART >6 months and <2 years (late-ART treatment). We compared plasma cytokine and chemokine concentrations and ADA enzymatic activities between early-ART and late-ART treatment 12.5 years later and measured correlation with clinical covariates. RESULTS: Plasma concentrations of 10 cytokines and chemokines (IFNγ, IL-12p70, IL-13, IL-17A, IL-IRA, IL-5, IL-6, and IL-9 as well as CCL7, CXCL10), ADA1, and ADA total were significantly higher in late-ART compared to early-ART treatment. Furthermore, ADA1 was significantly positively correlated with IFNγ, IL-17A, and IL-12p70. Meanwhile, total ADA was positively correlated with IFNγ, IL-13, IL-17A, IL-1RA, IL-6, and IL-12p70 as well as CCL7. CONCLUSIONS: Elevation of several pro-inflammatory plasma analytes in late-ART despite 12.5 years of virologic suppression compared to early-ART treatment suggests that early treatment dampens the long-term plasma inflammatory profile in PHIV participants. IMPACT: This study examines differences in the plasma cytokine, chemokine, and ADA profiles 12.5 years after treatment between early (≤6months) and late (>6 months and <2 years) antiretroviral therapy (ART) treatment initiation in a cohort of European and UK study participants living with PHIV. Several cytokines and chemokines (e.g., IFNγ, IL-12p70, IL-6, and CXCL10) as well as ADA-1 are elevated in late-ART treatment in comparison to early-ART treatment. Our results suggest that effective ART treatment initiated within 6 months of life in PHIV participants dampens a long-term inflammatory plasma profile as compared to late-ART treatment.

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Journal article


Pediatr Res

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