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Plasma selenium concentrations are sufficient and associated with protease inhibitor use in treated HIV-infected adults

Corrilynn O. Hileman, Sahera Dirajlal-Fargo, Suet Kam Lam, Jessica Kumar, Craig Lacher, Gerald F. Combs Jr.
Journal of nutrition 2015 v.145 no.10 pp. 2293-2299
CD8-positive T-lymphocytes, HIV infections, Human immunodeficiency virus 1, RNA, adults, antioxidants, antiretroviral agents, atherosclerosis, blood plasma, body mass index, immune response, inflammation, linear models, nutrient deficiencies, placebos, proteinase inhibitors, regression analysis, selenium, selenoproteins, therapeutics
Background: Selenium is an essential constituent of selenoproteins, which play a substantial role in antioxidant defense and inflammatory cascades. Selenium deficiency is associated with disease states characterized by inflammation, including cardiovascular disease (CVD). Although HIV infection has been associated with low selenium, the role ofselenium status in HIV-related CVD is unclear. Objectives: We sought to assess associations between plasma selenium and markers of inflammation, immune activation, and subclinical vascular disease in HIV-infected adults on contemporary antiretroviral therapy (ART) and to determine if statin therapy modifies selenium status. Methods: In the Stopping Atherosclerosis and Treating Unhealthy bone with RosuvastatiN trial, HIV-infected adults on stable ART were randomly assigned 1:1 to rosuvastatin or placebo. Plasma selenium concentrations were determined at entry, week 24, and week 48. Spearman correlation and linear regression analyses were used to assess relations between baseline selenium, HIV-related factors and markers of inflammation, immune activation, and subclinical vascular disease. Changes in selenium over 24 and 48 wk were compared between groups. Results: One hundred forty-seven HIV-infected adults were included. All participants were on ART. Median current CD4+ count was 613, and 76% had HIV-1 RNA ≤48 copies/mL (range: <20–600). Median plasma selenium concentration was 122 µg/L (range: 62–200). At baseline, higher selenium was associated with protease inhibitor (PI) use, lower body mass index, and a higher proportion of activated CD8+ T cells (CD8+CD38+human leukocyte antigen-DR+), but not markers of inflammation or subclinical vascular disease. Over 48 wk, selenium concentrations increased in the statin group (P < 0.01 within group), but the change did not differ between groups (+13.1 vs. +5.3 µg/L; P = 0.14 between groups). Conclusions: Plasma selenium concentrations were within the normal range for the background population and were not associated with subclinical vascular disease in HIV-infected adults on contemporary ART. The association between current PI use and higher selenium may have implications for ART allocation, especially in resource-limited countries. Also, it appears that statin therapy may increase selenium concentrations; however, larger studies are necessary to confirm this finding.