Assessing statin effects on cardiovascular pathways in HIV using a novel proteomics approach: Analysis of data from INTREPID, a randomized controlled trial

Mabel Toribio, Kathleen V. Fitch, Lauren Stone, Markella V. Zanni, Janet Lo, Chris de Filippi, Craig A. Sponseller, Hang Lee, Ida Grundberg, Melanie A. Thompson, Judith A. Aberg, Steven K. Grinspoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: People with HIV (PWH) demonstrate increased cardiovascular disease (CVD), due in part to increased immune activation, inflammation, and endothelial dysfunction. Methods: In a randomized trial (INTREPID), 252 HIV-infected participants with dyslipidemia and no history of coronary artery disease were randomized (1:1) to pitavastatin 4 mg vs. pravastatin 40 mg for 52 weeks. Using a proteomic discovery approach, 92 proteins biomarkers were assessed using Proximity Extension Assay technology to determine the effects of statins on key atherosclerosis and CVD pathways among PWH. 225 participants had specimens available for biomarker analysis pre- and post-baseline. Findings: The mean age was 49.5 ± 8.0 (mean ± SD), LDL-C 155 ± 25 mg/dl and CD4 count 620 ± 243 cell/mm3. Among all participants, three proteins significantly decreased: tissue factor pathway inhibitor [TFPI; t-statistic = −6.38, FDR p-value<0.0001], paraoxonase 3 [PON3; t-statistic = −4.64, FDR p-value = 0.0003], and LDL-receptor [LDLR; t-statistic = −4.45, FDR p-value = 0.0004]; and two proteins significantly increased galectin-4 [Gal-4; t-statistic = 3.50, FDR p-value = 0.01] and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 2 [IGFBP-2; t-statistic = 3.21, FDR p-value = 0.03]. The change in TFPI was significantly different between the pitavastatin and pravastatin groups. Among all participants, change in TFPI related to the change in LDL-C (r = 0.43, P < 0.0001) and change in Lp-PLA2 (r = 0.29, P < 0.0001). Interpretation: Using a proteomics approach, we demonstrated that statins led to a significant reduction in the levels of TFPI, PON3, and LDLR and an increase in Gal-4 and IGFBP-2, key proteins involved in coagulation, redox signaling, oxidative stress, and glucose metabolism. Pitavastatin led to a greater reduction in TFPI than pravastatin. These data highlight potential novel mechanisms of statin effects among PWH. Fund: This work was supported by an investigator-initiated grant to S.K.G. from KOWA Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. and the National Institutes of Health [P30 DK040561; Nutrition Obesity Research Center at Harvard]. M.T. was support by National Institutes of Health [5KL2TR001100-05; Harvard Catalyst KL2 grant].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-66
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • HIV
  • Proteomics
  • Statin


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