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Significant Induction of Soluble TNFR2 Compared with TNFR1 in Serum Samples of HIV Patients with or Without Antiretroviral Medication


Bismark Sarfo*, Zelalem Haile, Selase Deletsu, Eric Akpanja Mensah and Evelyn Yayra Bonney   Pages 1 - 7 ( 7 )


Background: Tumor necrosis factor and its receptors (sTNFR1 and sTNFR2) have been implicated in many infectious diseases. Identification of the key receptor (sTNFR1 or sTNFR2) which drives the immunopathogenesis of HIV infection is crucial in developing adjunctive therapy for HIV. Objective: This study determined the expression levels of sTNFR1 and sTNFR2 in antiretroviral therapy (ART) – experienced and naïve HIV patients. Method: A total of 40 HIV patients comprising 30 with ART and 10 without ART were enrolled from the Pantang Hospital located in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana for data and blood collection. Serum concentrations of sTNFR1 and sTNFR2 were determined by ELISA. Mann- Whitney U test was used to examine differences in serum levels of sTNFR1 and sTNFR2 between patients on ART and ART naïve patients. Wilcoxon Signed-Rank Test was performed to determine the difference between sTNFR1 and sTNFR2, and Kruskal Wallis test was conducted to compare the effect of different antiretroviral drugs on the levels of sTNFR1 and sTNFR2. . P< 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: A Wilcoxon Signed-Ranks Test indicated serum levels of sTNFR2 was statistically significantly higher than sTNFR1 (Z=-5.51; p<0.001). Levels of sTNFR1 and sTNFR2 did not differ by ART status U =91.00 (Z = -1.84), p = 0.065 and U = 131.50 (Z = -0.58, p =0.560), respectively. There were not significant differences in levels ofsTNFR2 H(2) = 1.86, p=0.395 and sTNFR1 (H (2) = 4.37, p=0.113 across different ART combinations. Conclusion: Compared to sTNFR1, the level of sTNFR2 is significantly increased during HIV infection irrespective of ART status. The high sTNFR2 level is not associated with antiretroviral drugs and may be another potential target for therapuetic development. This is the first study of sTNFRs in African population.


HIV, antiretroviral, TNF receptors, immunopathogenesis, adjunctive therapy


Department of Epidemiology and Disease Control, School of Public Health, University of Ghana, Legon, Department of Social Medicine, Ohio University, Dublin Ohio, Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Ghana, Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Ghana, Virology Department, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, Legon

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