Plasma gelsolin (pGSN) is a multi-functional protein involved mainly in severing and clearing of actin filaments. Its level correlates with inflammation and several diseases making it potential biomarker of diagnostic and prognostic values. The pGSN level in groups of treated and untreated HIV-1 infected Indian patients is investigated in this study.
This study aims at investigating the levels of plasma gelsolin in HIV-1 infected patients across different age, sex, severity of disease and treatment status.
Blood samples of 213 patients were analysed for CD4 counts by flow-cytometry and plasma gelsolin was quantified by ELISA.
The level of pGSN is significantly increased in HIV-1 infected patients (227.2±54.3 μg/ml) compared to healthy volunteers (167.9±61.8 μg/ml). The level correlates with CD4 cell counts as patients with lower CD4 counts showed higher pGSN levels and vice versa. Gender doesn’t affect pGSN level; however, anti-retroviral treatment reduces pGSN towards normal. Within low CD4 cell count group, the untreated patients have 52% higher pGSN than healthy volunteers whereas with treatment the difference reduces to 24%. Similarly, high CD4 cell count (>350 cells/mm3) group of patients showed 44% increase in pGSN in untreated patients as compared to 21% increase for treated patients.
There is an up-regulation of pGSN in HIV-1 infection and it is inversely correlated with CD4 cell counts. Treatment with anti-retroviral drugs decreases pGSN levels towards normal. The monitoring of pGSN level in HIV-1 infected patients could be an important indicator of severity of disease and recovery during treatment.