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Soluble T-Cell Immunoglobulin Mucin Domain-3 Is Associated With Hepatitis C Virus Coinfection and Low-Grade Inflammation During Chronic Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection

Sciprofile linkHedda Hoel, Thor Ueland, Malene Hove-Skovsgaard, Hans Jakob Hartling, Marco Gelpi, Thomas Benfield, Henrik Ullum, Annika E Michelsen, Pål Aukrust, Susanne Dam Nielsen, Sciprofile linkMarius Trøseid
Open Forum Infectious Diseases , Volume 7; doi:10.1093/ofid/ofaa033

Abstract: Background In well treated human immunodeficiency virus infection (HIV), there is a residual immune activation and immune exhaustion that may contribute to increased risk of comorbidities. T-cell immunoglobulin mucin domain-3 (Tim-3) is an inhibitory molecule involved in HIV-associated T-cell dysfunction. The Tim-3 can be cleaved to soluble Tim-3 (sTim-3) that may serve as a soluble marker of immune exhaustion. Methods We measured sTim-3 with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay DuoSets in a cross-sectional cohort of 1010 people with HIV (PWH) on antiretroviral therapy (ART), and 76 controls from the Copenhagen Co-Morbidity in HIV Infection (COCOMO) study, and in a longitudinal cohort of 60 PWH before and during ART. Results In the cross-sectional cohort, levels of sTim-3 were elevated in PWH on ART compared with controls, especially in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-coinfected individuals, and were associated with HCV viremia and inflammation. In the longitudinal cohort, pretreatment sTim-3 correlated with HIV viral load and decreased after ART initiation. Pretreatment sTim-3 correlated inversely with CD4 counts, but it did not predict immunological response in multivariable analyses. Conclusions Levels of sTim-3 decreased after ART initiation. In a cross-sectional cohort, levels of sTIM-3 were higher in PWH than in controls and were independently associated with HCV coinfection and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, representing a potential link between immune exhaustion, inflammation, and risk of comorbidities.
Keywords: HIV / hepatitis C / soluble / Tim-3 / Immune Exhaustion

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