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Clinical Trial Summary

HIV persists despite antiretroviral therapy (ART) and is associated with chronic inflammation. This inflammation is thought to prevent an effective immune response against the virus and is mediated at least in part by gut epithelial permeability and microbial translocation. HIV accumulates preferentially within Th17 cells with time on ART; these memory CD4+ T cells are highly susceptible to HIV infection and are concentrated within the gut. Vitamin D promotes gut epithelial integrity in animal models and exerts anti-inflammatory effects on the human immune system including down-modulation of Th17 cell frequency. This study will evaluate whether high dose vitamin D is able to reduce immune activation and Th17 cell frequency, to improve gut barrier integrity and the gut microbiome and reduce HIV persistence in participants on long-term suppressive ART.

Clinical Trial Description

The major barrier to a cure for HIV infection is the persistence of latently infected CD4+ T cells on antiretroviral therapy (ART). HIV is concentrated in vivo in Th17 cells in blood and the gastrointestinal tract. Th17 cells are critical mediators of mucosal immunity against bacteria and fungi and are rapidly depleted in the gut following HIV acquisition with subsequent gut epithelial permeability, microbial translocation and ensuing chronic inflammation which is not completely reversed on ART. Such inflammation may contribute to HIV persistence by potentiating T cell proliferation and thereby clonal expansion of infected cells, by exacerbating CD8+ T cell exhaustion and potentially by promoting viral replication despite ART.

Vitamin D has pleiotropic effects on the immune system including directing naïve CD4+ T cells away from the Th17 phenotype toward an anti-inflammatory regulatory T cell phenotype. It may also have beneficial effects on dendritic cell and CD8+ T cell immunity. Furthermore, vitamin D has been shown in animal models to strengthen gut epithelial integrity and in healthy volunteers to promote a more diverse gut microbiome.

The investigators plan to perform a pilot randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial of high dose vitamin D supplementation in HIV-infected participants on suppressive ART and to determine its effect on immune activation, Th17 cell frequency, gut barrier integrity, the gut microbiome and HIV persistence. ;

Study Design

Related Conditions & MeSH terms

NCT number NCT03426592
Study type Interventional
Source University of Melbourne
Status Active, not recruiting
Phase Phase 2
Start date January 29, 2018
Completion date July 2019

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