Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has significantly increased the life expectancy of HIV/AIDS patients. A serious side-effect is that HAART is associated with non-resolving inflammation and an increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Tobacco smoking also promotes CVD risk and is a major health issue for all individuals. It is of even greater concern in the HIV/AIDS population that is three times more likely to smoke (up to 70% smoke and they smoke intensely) compared to the general population (20% smoke). Platelets play a seminal role in cardiovascular-associated inflammation and thrombosis, and contribute to the etiology and pathogenesis of CVD. Tobacco smoke activates platelets. A major knowledge gap is that the combined effects of HAART and tobacco smoke on platelet activation and CVD risk are unknown. Our hypothesis is that HAART increases platelet dysregulation and HAART combined with tobacco smoke further promotes platelet dysregulation. The long term hypothesis and importance of this research proposal is that tobacco smoke places HIV-infected individuals undergoing HAART at even greater risk for developing comorbidities and mortality from platelet activation that causes CVD. Our goal is to perform essential basic in vitro human platelet function studies to determine the impact and mechanisms underlying the combined effects of tobacco smoke and key antiretroviral therapies on platelet activation.
In Specific Aim 1, we will focus on the characterization of platelet dysregulation in nonsmoking and smoking HIV-infected volunteers undergoing ART.
Specific Aim 2 will test key antiretroviral regimens identified in Aim 1 in order to characterize platelet dysregulation and begin to understand the underlying mechanisms. Completion of these R21 exploratory and developmental studies will provide the foundation to pursue future translational studies of the role of platelets in HIV and the design of new therapeutic interventions to reduce HIV-related CVD.

Public Health Relevance

Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has prolonged the life of HIV/AIDs patients, but is associated with increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Tobacco smoke also promotes CVD and is of concern as the HIV/AIDS population is three times more likely to smoke than the general population. Human blood platelets play a major role in the initiation and progression of CVD. Our studies are intended to determine the key HAART regimes, and regimes in combination with tobacco smoke, that elicit dysregulation in platelets that lead to CVD. Completion of these studies will aid in the design of new therapeutic interventions to reduce HIV-related CVD. (End of Abstract)

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHL1)
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Kindzelski, Andrei L
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University of Rochester
Public Health & Prev Medicine
School of Medicine & Dentistry
United States
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