ApoA-I mimetics reduce systemic and gut inflammation in chronic treated HIV

PLoS Pathog. 2022 Jan 7;18(1):e1010160. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1010160. eCollection 2022 Jan.


Novel therapeutic strategies are needed to attenuate increased systemic and gut inflammation that contribute to morbidity and mortality in chronic HIV infection despite potent antiretroviral therapy (ART). The goal of this study is to use preclinical models of chronic treated HIV to determine whether the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory apoA-I mimetic peptides 6F and 4F attenuate systemic and gut inflammation in chronic HIV. We used two humanized murine models of HIV infection and gut explants from 10 uninfected and 10 HIV infected persons on potent ART, to determine the in vivo and ex vivo impact of apoA-I mimetics on systemic and intestinal inflammation in HIV. When compared to HIV infected humanized mice treated with ART alone, mice on oral apoA-I mimetic peptide 6F with ART had consistently reduced plasma and gut tissue cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6) and chemokines (CX3CL1) that are products of ADAM17 sheddase activity. Oral 6F attenuated gut protein levels of ADAM17 that were increased in HIV-1 infected mice on potent ART compared to uninfected mice. Adding oxidized lipoproteins and endotoxin (LPS) ex vivo to gut explants from HIV infected persons increased levels of ADAM17 in myeloid and intestinal cells, which increased TNF-α and CX3CL1. Both 4F and 6F attenuated these changes. Our preclinical data suggest that apoA-I mimetic peptides provide a novel therapeutic strategy that can target increased protein levels of ADAM17 and its sheddase activity that contribute to intestinal and systemic inflammation in treated HIV. The large repertoire of inflammatory mediators involved in ADAM17 sheddase activity places it as a pivotal orchestrator of several inflammatory pathways associated with morbidity in chronic treated HIV that make it an attractive therapeutic target.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ADAM17 Protein / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Anti-HIV Agents / pharmacology
  • Apolipoprotein A-I*
  • HIV Infections / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / pathology*
  • Intestines / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • Peptides / pharmacology*


  • 6F peptide
  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Apolipoprotein A-I
  • Peptides
  • ADAM17 Protein