alexa HIV protease inhibitors stimulate hepatic triglyceride synthesis.
Infectious Diseases

Infectious Diseases

Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research

Author(s): Lenhard JM, Croom DK, Weiel JE, Winegar DA, Lenhard JM, Croom DK, Weiel JE, Winegar DA

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Abstract Hyperlipidemia may complicate the use of HIV protease inhibitors (PIs) in AIDS therapy. To determine the cause of hyperlipidemia, the effect of PIs on lipid metabolism was examined with HepG2 liver cells and AKR/J mice. In HepG2 cells, the PIs ABT-378, nelfinavir, ritonavir, and saquinavir stimulated triglyceride synthesis; ritonavir increased cholesterol synthesis; and amprenavir and indinavir had no effect. Moreover, nelfinavir increased mRNA expression of diacylglycerol acyltransferase and fatty acid synthase. The retinoid X receptor agonist LG100268, but not the antagonist LG100754, further increased PI-stimulated triglyceride synthesis and mRNA expression of fatty acid synthase in vitro. In fed mice, nelfinavir or ritonavir did not affect serum glucose and cholesterol, whereas triglyceride and fatty acids increased 57\% to 108\%. In fasted mice, ritonavir increased serum glucose by 29\%, cholesterol by 40\%, and triglyceride by 99\%, whereas nelfinavir had no effect, suggesting these PIs have different effects on metabolism. Consistent with the in vitro results, nelfinavir and ritonavir increased triglyceride 2- to 3-fold in fasted mice injected with Triton WR-1339, an inhibitor of triglyceride clearance. We propose that PI-associated hyperlipidemia is due to increased hepatic triglyceride synthesis and suggest that retinoids or meal restriction influences the effects of select PIs on lipid metabolism.
This article was published in Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research

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