Journal Article

Improvement of Mitochondrial Toxicity in Patients receiving a Nucleoside Reverse-Transcriptase Inhibitor-Sparing Strategy: Results from the Multicenter Study with Nevirapine and Kaletra (MULTINEKA)

Eugenia Negredo, Òscar Miró, Benjamí Rodríguez-Santiago, Glòria Garrabou, Carla Estany, Àngels Masabeu, Lluís Force, Pilar Barrufet, Josep Cucurull, Pere Domingo, Carlos Alonso-Villaverde, Anna Bonjoch, Constanza Morén, Núria Pérez-Álvarez and Bonaventura Clotet

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 49, issue 6, pages 892-900
Published in print September 2009 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online September 2009 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/605440
Improvement of Mitochondrial Toxicity in Patients receiving a Nucleoside Reverse-Transcriptase Inhibitor-Sparing Strategy: Results from the Multicenter Study with Nevirapine and Kaletra (MULTINEKA)

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Background.Nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI)-related mitochondrial toxicity has been suggested as a key factor in the induction of antiretroviral-related lipoatrophy. This study aimed to evaluate in vivo the effects of NRTI withdrawal on mitochondrial parameters and body fat distribution.

Methods.A multicenter, prospective, randomized trial assessed the efficacy and tolerability of switching to lopinavir-ritonavir plus nevirapine (nevirapine group; n=34), compared with lopinavir-ritonavir plus 2 NRTIs (control group; n=33) in a group of human immunodeficiency virus-infected adults with virological suppression. A subset of 35 individuals (20 from the nevirapine group and 15 from the control group) were evaluated for changes in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) to nuclear DNA ratio and cytochrome c oxidase (COX) activity after NRTI withdrawal. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scans were used to objectively quantify fat redistribution over time.

Results.The nevirapine group experienced a progressive increase in mtDNA content (a 40% increase at week 48; P=.039 for comparison between groups) and in the COX activity (26% and 32% at weeks 24 and 48, respectively; P=.01 and P=.09 for comparison between groups, respectively). There were no statistically significant between-group differences in DEXA scans at week 48, although a higher fat increase in extremities was observed in the nevirapine group. No virologic failures occurred in either treatment arm.

Conclusions.Switching to a nucleoside-sparing regimen of nevirapine and lopinavir-ritonavir maintained full antiviral efficacy and led to an improvement in mitochondrial parameters, which suggests a reversion of nucleoside-associated mitochondrial toxicity. Although DEXA scans performed during the study only revealed slight changes in fat redistribution, a longer follow-up period may show a positive correlation between reduced mitochondrial toxicity and a clinical improvement of lipodystrophy.

Journal Article.  4746 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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