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Author Notes:

E-mail Address : skomaku@emory.edu

Conceived and designed the experiments: SKC DMG GSM JL LB. Performed the experiments: SKC GSM LB. Analyzed the data: SKC DMG GSM JL LB. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: DMG GSM JL LB. Wrote the paper: SC LB.

The authors would like to thank Joel Andrews, RN, BSN for all his help in the recruitment and enrollment of study subjects.

We would also like to thank Leandrea McGill and Janine Ward for their laboratory assistance.

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


Research Funding:

The work was supported by the following: National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number UL1TR000454; and ACTSI KL2-Mentored Clinical and Translational Research Program and NIH KL2 support (KL2TR000454).

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Anti-Retroviral Therapy Is Associated with Decreased Alveolar Glutathione Levels Even in Healthy HIV-Infected Individuals


Journal Title:



Volume 9, Number 2


, Pages e88630-e88630

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Objective Lung infections are a leading cause of death in HIV-infected individuals. Measuring redox in HIV-infected individuals may identify those with chronic oxidative stress who are at increased risk for lung infection. We sought to estimate the association between HIV infection and oxidative stress in the lung, as reflected by decreased levels of glutathione and cysteine in the epithelial lining fluid. Methods Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid was collected from healthy HIV-infected subjects and controls. Individuals were excluded if they had evidence of major medical co-morbidities, were malnourished or smoked cigarettes. Results We enrolled 22 otherwise healthy HIV and 21 non-HIV subjects. Among the HIV-infected subjects, 72.7% were on anti-retroviral therapy (ART) with a median CD4 count of 438 (279.8–599) and viral load of 0 (0–1.0) log copies/mL. There were no significant differences in median BAL fluid glutathione and cysteine levels between HIV and HIV-uninfected subjects. However, BAL glutathione was significantly higher in HIV-infected subjects on anti-retroviral therapy (ART) compared to those not on ART [367.4 (102–965.3) nM vs. 30.8 (1.0–112.1) nM, p = 0.008]. Further, HIV infection with ART was associated with an OR of 2.02 for increased BAL glutathione when adjusted for age and body mass index, whereas HIV infection without ART was associated with an OR of 2.17 for decreased BAL glutathione. Conclusion HIV infection without ART was associated with increased oxidative stress, as reflected by decreased alveolar glutathione levels, in otherwise healthy HIV-infected individuals. Further study needs to be done identify predictors of lung health in HIV and to address the role of ART in improving lung immunity.

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This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

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