The esterified plasma fatty acid profile is altered in early HIV-1 infection

Michael D. Peck, Emilio Mantero-Atienza, Maria Jose Miguez-Burbano, Mary Ann Fletcher, Gail Shor-Posner, Marianna K. Baum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Previous studies have shown that alterations in micronutrient utilization occur in patients with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. In this study, total plasma fatty acid composition was measured in 36 homosexual men infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1 (HIV-1) and in 17 HIV-1 seronegative homosexual men in order to evaluate differences associated with early HIV-1 infection. Immunologic assessment included CD4 cell number count and lymphocyte blastogenesis in response to the mitogens phytohemagglutinin (PHA) and pokeweed (PWM). The mean total amount of ω6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (18:2 and 20:4) was significantly lower in the HIV-1 seropositive subjects (38±8.1% SD) as compared to HIV-1 seronegative subjects (43±4.2%;P=0.0027). This was also reflected in a higher level of total saturated fatty acids (16:0 and 18:0) in HIV-1 seropositive subjects (30±2.2%vs. 26±2.8%;P=0.0001). The ratio of linoleic to arachidonic acid (18:2 to 20:4) was higher in the HIV-1 seronegative group (6.76±4.88) compared to the HIV-1 seronegative group (4.86±1.37;P=0.0213). The response to PHA in seropositive subjects correlated inversely with total plasma ω6 fatty acids (r=-0.36;P=0.027), and directly with the 18:2 to 20:4 ratio (r=0.33;P=0.046). CD4 cell counts and the response to PWM did not correlate with plasma fatty acid levels in HIV-1 seropositive subjects. We conclude that early HIV-1 infection is associated with lower plasma ω6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, notably arachidonic acid, than are controls, and that the changes in the plasma fatty acid profile correlate with some indices of immune function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-597
Number of pages5
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'The esterified plasma fatty acid profile is altered in early HIV-1 infection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this