Fish Oil for HIV-Related Inflamm-aging and Immune Senescence

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT02102724
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : April 3, 2014
Last Update Posted : March 3, 2017
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Rush University Medical Center

Brief Summary:
HIV infection is associated with premature aging of the immune system. It is believe that the persistent inflammation that accompanies HIV infection is a major contributor to premature immune aging. Fish oil has well-documented anti-inflammatory properties. In this randomized, clinical trial, we're testing whether a 12-week course of fish oil supplementation will reverse premature aging in HIV-infected older adults.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
HIV Infection Dietary Supplement: Fish oil that contains omega-3 fatty acids Phase 2

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Detailed Description:

Due to treatment advances, the number of persons > 50 years old who are living with HIV/AIDS in the United States (US) has steadily increased. African Americans (AA) represent a disproportionate number of HIV/AIDS cases in this age group, with infection rates 12 times higher than among whites (51.7 per 100,000 compared to 4.2 per 100,000). Limited data suggest that older HIV+ AA are characterized by health status disparities. One cohort study of older, largely minority HIV+ persons (N=121, AA=83%;mean age=54), found that 34% had metabolic syndrome and 50% had a Framingham Cardiac Risk score > 10%. HIV+ older adults of all races show a premature onset of other age-associated co-morbidities, such as osteoporosis, non-AIDS malignancies, and cardiovascular disease (CVD). These co-morbidities have been linked to persistent inflammation and persistently elevated serum levels of proinflammatory cytokines that mimic an aging phenotype known as "inflamm-aging." In both middle-aged HIV+ persons and older HIV seronegative adults, inflamm-aging is associated with more limited T cell repertoires and increased risk for morbidities and mortality. In HIV infection, inflamm-aging is postulated to be maintained (a) by the constant antigen burden imposed by HIV and other chronic viral co-pathogens, such as cytomegalovirus (CMV), and (b) by HIV-induced disruption of intestinal epithelial integrity with subsequent translocation of gut microflora into the systemic circulation. Our hypothesis is that inflamm-aging is responsible for the premature immune senescence associated with HIV infection in aging individuals. Immune senescence, characterized by diminished replicative capacity, has been observed in middle-aged persons treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) who achieve immune reconstitution and undetectable viral loads. Senescent cells are characterized by the absence of the surface marker CD28, and in advanced senescence express CD57 (CD28-/CD57+ phenotype). Because premature senescence leads to loss of anti-HIV cell-mediated immune responses and accelerated HIV disease progression,there is an urgent need to test new treatment strategies to reduce inflamm-aging and subsequent immune senescence.

Fish oil may be an effective treatment option for reducing HIV-related inflamm-aging. Cold water fish are rich in the omega-3 highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA) eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which have anti-inflammatory effects. When consumed as fish or fish oil supplements, EPA and DHA replace arachidonic acid in cell membranes and inhibit the synthesis of proinflammatory arachidonic acid metabolites, such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes. Moreover, animal and in vitro studies have shown that EPA and DHA stimulate regeneration of intestinal mucosa damaged by methotrexate,16 IL-4, and experimental ulcerative colitis. Yet, to date, no studies have been conducted on the effects of fish oil for reducing HIV-related inflamm-aging and reversing immune senescence.

The purpose of this study is to explore the safety and estimate the effect size of fish oil to modulate parameters of inflamm-aging and immune senescence in HIV+ older adults. Participants will receive either 1.6 grams of omega-3 fatty acids (800 mg of EPA, 600 mg DHA, 200 mg other omega-3 fatty acids) or placebo for 12 weeks. We expect to find a reduction in inflammatory markers and the percentage of CD8+ and CD4+ T lymphocytes that exhibit a senescent phenotype in the fish oil condition, but not in the control condition, at 12 weeks. We expect to find no difference between the conditions on the safety parameters at 4 and 12 weeks.

The specific aims are:

Aim 1. To assess the safety of the fish oil condition by comparing it to the control condition at 4 and 12 weeks, controlling for covariates (demographics, lifestyle, medications including HAART, fish oil supplement adherence, intercurrent illnesses), on

  1. HIV disease parameters (CD4+ T cell counts and HIV RNA levels)
  2. Drug toxicity (liver function tests and serum creatinine)
  3. Adverse events (e.g., diarrhea, vomiting)

Aim 2. To estimate the effect size of the fish oil condition at 12 weeks, controlling for covariates, by comparing the following cell surface molecules and intracellular and soluble inflammatory markers before and after fish oil

  1. Markers of immune senescence on CD8+ T lymphocytes: percentage of CD8+/CD28- T lymphocytes, a phenotype of immune senescence (primary outcome); percentage of CD8+/CD28-/CD57- T lymphocytes (an intermediate senescent phenotype); percentage of CD8+/CD28-/CD57+ T lymphocytes (a terminally differentiated senescent phenotype)
  2. Markers of immune senescence on CD4+ T lymphocytes: percentage of CD4+/CD28- T lymphocytes; percentage of CD4+/CD28-/CD57- T lymphocytes; percentage of CD4+/CD28-/CD57+ T lymphocytes
  3. Markers of inflammation: plasma hsCRP and intracellular concentrations of TNF-alpha, IL-6, and gamma IFN

Aim 3: To estimate the effect size of the fish oil condition at 12 weeks on gut permeability, controlling for covariates, by comparing the following indirect markers of gut permeability before and after fish oil

  1. Endotoxin
  2. Soluble mouse CD14
  3. Endotoxin binding antibody
  4. Lipopolysaccharide binding protein

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 38 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Fish Oil for HIV-Related Inflamm-aging and Immune Senescence
Study Start Date : April 2014
Actual Primary Completion Date : December 2015
Actual Study Completion Date : December 2015

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: HIV/AIDS

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Fish Oil
Participants will receive fish oil gelcaps that contain 1.6 grams of omega-3 fatty acids (800 mg of EPA, 600 mg DHA, 200 mg other omega-3 fatty acids) for 12 weeks.
Dietary Supplement: Fish oil that contains omega-3 fatty acids
Fish oil gelcaps that contain 800 mg of EPA, 600 mg of DHA, 200 mg other omega-3 fatty acids
Other Name: Carlson Brand fish oil

Placebo Comparator: Placebo
Participants will receive 1 gram of oleic sunflower oil for 12 weeks.
Dietary Supplement: Fish oil that contains omega-3 fatty acids
Fish oil gelcaps that contain 800 mg of EPA, 600 mg of DHA, 200 mg other omega-3 fatty acids
Other Name: Carlson Brand fish oil

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Markers of Immune Senescence [ Time Frame: End of 12-Week Supplementation Period ]
    Markers of immune senescence will include the expression of CD28 and CD57 on CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   40 Years to 70 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • documented HIV infection
  • between 40 and 70 years of age
  • clinically stable HIV disease as evidenced by a CD4+ T lymphocyte count of > 250 cells/mm3
  • platelet count between 150,000 and 400,000 cells/mm3 to reduce bleeding risks associated with omega 3-fatty acids
  • treatment with a stable HAART regimen for at least six months prior to study entry
  • plasma HIV RNA < 75 copies/ml for at least 12 months
  • elevated plasma concentration of hsCRP (> 2.0 mg/L).

Exclusion Criteria:

  • use within the past month of drugs (e.g., statins, steroids, hormones) and supplements (e.g., omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine/chondroitin) that have anti-inflammatory effects (excluding non-regular use of aspirin or NSAIDS), or medications or supplements that affect bleeding (e.g., heparin, warfarin, clopidogrel, garlic, ginseng)
  • allergy to fish or shellfish
  • chronic inflammatory condition (e.g., asthma, rheumatoid arthritis), opportunistic infection or cancer, renal impairment (serum creatinine > 2.0 mg/dL), thrombocytopenia (platelet count < 150,000/mm3), bleeding episodes (e.g., gum bleeding, nosebleeds), or a metabolic condition (e.g., diabetes mellitus, thyroid disease)
  • body mass index of > 35, since obesity is associated with inflammation
  • impaired liver function as evidenced by liver enzyme elevations > three times the upper limit of normal (AST or ALT > 150 IU/L)
  • history of prostate cancer
  • LDL cholesterol level > 120 mg/dL
  • lifestyle exclusion factors include use of illicit drugs and consumption of > 3 alcoholic drinks/day

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT02102724

United States, Illinois
Rush University Medical Center
Chicago, Illinois, United States, 60612
Sponsors and Collaborators
Rush University Medical Center
Principal Investigator: Barbara A. Swanson, PhD, RN Rush University College of Nursing

Responsible Party: Rush University Medical Center Identifier: NCT02102724     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 5P20MD006886 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: April 3, 2014    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: March 3, 2017
Last Verified: March 2017
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No

Keywords provided by Rush University Medical Center:
African Americans
Older Adults

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
HIV Infections
Lentivirus Infections
Retroviridae Infections
RNA Virus Infections
Virus Diseases
Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Viral
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes
Immune System Diseases