Circulating heat shock protein 60 levels are elevated in HIV patients and are reduced by anti-retroviral therapy

PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e45291. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0045291. Epub 2012 Sep 28.


Circulating heat shock protein 60 (Hsp60) and heat shock protein 10 (Hsp10) have been associated with pro- and anti-inflammatory activity, respectively. To determine whether these heat shock proteins might be associated with the immune activation seen in HIV-infected patients, the plasma levels of Hsp60 and Hsp10 were determined in a cohort of 20 HIV-infected patients before and after effective combination anti-retroviral therapy (cART). We show for the first time that circulating Hsp60 levels are elevated in HIV-infected patients, with levels significantly reduced after cART, but still higher than those in HIV-negative individuals. Hsp60 levels correlated significantly with viral load, CD4 counts, and circulating soluble CD14 and lipopolysaccharide levels. No differences or correlations were seen for Hsp10 levels. Elevated circulating Hsp60 may contribute to the immune dysfunction and non-AIDS clinical events seen in HIV-infected patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • Chaperonin 10 / blood
  • Chaperonin 10 / genetics
  • Chaperonin 10 / immunology
  • Chaperonin 60 / blood*
  • Chaperonin 60 / genetics
  • Chaperonin 60 / immunology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • HIV / drug effects
  • HIV / physiology*
  • HIV Infections / blood*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • Humans
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors / blood
  • Lipopolysaccharides / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Viral Load / drug effects


  • Anti-Retroviral Agents
  • Chaperonin 10
  • Chaperonin 60
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors
  • Lipopolysaccharides

Grant support

The work was funded by grants from the Australian Centre for HIV and Hepatitis Virology Research ( and the Australian Research Council ( AS is a Principle Research Fellow and SL is a Practitioner Fellow with the National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia ( The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.