Objectives: Immune activation, among others driven by interferon (IFN)-α and IFN-γ activation, is a main feature of progressive HIV infection. Suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) 1 and 3 are negative feedback regulators of the IFN-α and IFN-γ axis. Here, we analyzed the role of 9 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within SOCS-1 and SOCS-3 genes for their association with an HIV progression rate in a cohort of 318 rapid vs 376 slow progressors from the Swiss HIV Cohort Study.
Design and methods: We analyzed 9 SNPs, which we have identified in Swiss blood donors, in a cohort of HIV-infected patients (n = 1144), which have been categorized according to the decline in CD4 T-cell counts. In all the conducted analyses, we focused on the comparison between rapid and slow progressors with regard to SNPs in SOCS-1 and SOCS-3 and with regard to haplotypes using multivariate logistic regression models.
Results: Three SOCS-1 SNPs (rs193779, rs33989964, and rs4780355) are associated with a risk reduction for rapid progression. Two of these SNPs, rs33989964 and rs4780355, are in strong linkage disequilibrium, forming a frequent haplotype. Homozygous carriers of this haplotype are also associated with a risk reduction for rapid progression. By contrast, the minor TT genotype of rs33977706 is associated with twice the risk for rapid progression. No associations have been observed for the 4 SOCS-3 SNPs or the major SOCS-3 haplotypes.
Conclusions: Our data suggest that SNPs in SOCS-1 are associated with HIV disease progression and speak in favor that immune activation is causal for the progressive immunodeficiency.