Differential course of HIV-1 infection and apolipoprotein E polymorphism

Elizabeth H. Corder, Luciano Galeazzi, Claudio Franceschi, Andrea Cossarizza, Roberto Paganelli, Marcello Pinti, Cristina Mussini, Vanni Borghi, Elena Pinter, Rita De Cristofaro, Roberta Galeazzi, Marino Perini, Fernando Aiuti, Sergio Giunta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We studied the course of infection with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in relation to apolipoprotein E (APOE) polymorphism found for 209 Italians treated at Infectious Disease Clinics in Rome and Modena. Clinically, patients were classified into four groups according to the yearly rate of decline in CD4+ cell count (LTNP: long-term non-progression; SLOW, 'NORMAL' or RAPID). Patients at both extremes of the clinical spectrum, i.e. those who rapidly progressed to AIDS and those with stable high CD4 cell counts, had few APOE ε4 and ε2 alleles (P = 0.04). Detailed clinical information was then used to construct four model-based clinical profiles using grade-of-membership analysis (GoM), predictive of APOE genotypic frequencies: 1. The clinical profile associated with good long-term prognosis lacked ε2 (P=0.01); 2. Disease progression to AIDS was associated with ε4 and ε2, most evident for zidovudine-lamivudine regimens without a protease inhibitor (P = 0.03); and, 3. AIDS patients had low ε4 and ε2 frequencies, consistent with a high mortality rate among ε4+ and ε2+ AIDS patients. These findings suggest allele-specific immunomodulatory effects involving inherited APOE isoform important enough to alter the clinical course of HIV infection and, possibly, drug efficacy. They imply a connection between lipid metabolism and immunity potentially relevant to common disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)404-416
Number of pages13
JournalCentral European Journal of Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007


  • APOE
  • Genetic epidemiology
  • Grade-of-membership analysis
  • HIV-1 infection
  • Immunomodulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Differential course of HIV-1 infection and apolipoprotein E polymorphism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this