For people living with HIV, treatment with integrase-strand-transfer-inhibitors (INSTIs) can promote adipose tissue (AT) gain. We previously demonstrated that INSTIs can induce hypertrophy and fibrosis in AT of macaques and humans. By promoting energy expenditure, the emergence of beige adipocytes in white AT (beiging) could play an important role by limiting excess lipid storage and associated adipocyte dysfunction. We hypothesized that INSTIs could alter AT via beiging inhibition. Fibrosis and gene expression were measured in subcutaneous (SCAT) and visceral AT (VAT) from SIV-infected, dolutegravir-treated (SIVART) macaques. Beiging capacity was assessed in human adipose stromal cells (ASCs) undergoing differentiation and being exposed to dolutegravir, bictegravir, or raltegravir. Expression of beige markers, such as positive-regulatory-domain-containing-16 (PRDM16), were lower in AT of SIVART as compared to control macaques, whereas fibrosis-related genes were higher. Dolutegravir and bictegravir inhibited beige differentiation in ASCs, as shown by lower expression of beige markers and lower cell respiration. INSTIs also induced a hypertrophic insulin-resistant state associated with a pro-fibrotic phenotype. Our results indicate that adipocyte hypertrophy induced by INSTIs is involved via hypoxia (revealed by a greater hypoxia-inducible-factor-1-alpha gene expression) in fat fibrosis, beiging inhibition, and thus (via positive feedback), probably, further hypertrophy and associated insulin resistance.
Keywords: HIV integrase inhibitors; adipose tissue; beiging; fibrosis; hypertrophy; insulin resistance.