Author(s): Ostrowski SR
High blood levels of soluble urokinase receptor (suPAR) measured by enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) (bulk measurement of 3-domain and 2-domain suPAR [suPAR(I-III), suPAR(II-III)], and suPAR(I-III) ligand complexes) strongly predict mortality in HIV-1-infected patients. This study investigated plasma levels of suPAR(I-III), suPAR(II-III), and 1-domain suPAR [suPAR(I)] and their predictive value for survival in HIV patients. Plasma suPAR was measured by ELISA and 3 different time-resolved fluorescence immunoassays detecting suPAR(I-III), suPAR(I-III) plus suPAR(II-III), and suPAR(I) in 99 HIV patients and 59 healthy individuals. Plasma suPAR(I-III), suPAR(II-III), and suPAR(I) were increased in HIV patients and increased with HIV disease progression (P < 0.001 for all). In multivariate linear regression analysis, soluble immune activation markers and hemoglobin were independent predictors of plasma suPAR in HIV patients, whereas the neutrophil concentration was the only independent predictor of plasma suPAR in controls. In univariate Cox analysis, higher levels of suPAR(I-III), suPAR(II-III), and suPAR(I) predicted increased mortality risk (P < 0.001 for all). In multivariate Cox analysis adjusting for CD4+ count, HIV RNA, beta2-microglobulin, hemoglobin and clinical stage, higher levels of suPAR(I-III) and suPAR(II-III) were independent predictors of increased mortality risk (P < 0.05 for both), whereas suPAR(I) was not. Plasma levels of different suPAR forms are increased and associated with immune activation in HIV patients, and suPAR(I-III) and suPAR(II-III) are independent predictors of mortality in these patients.