Background: Initial investigations demonstrated a deficiency of glutathione (GSH) in the epithelial lining fluid (ELF) of HIV-seropositive patients. In a recent study, our laboratory was unable to document such a deficiency. The current study was performed in an attempt to reconcile those disparate findings.
Study objectives: To determine if ELF GSH decreases over time in asymptomatic HIV-seropositive subjects.
Design: Prospective, longitudinal study.
Setting: Major university medical center.
Patients or participants: Thirty-three asymptomatic HIV-seropositive volunteers.
Measurements and results: BAL was performed on 33 asymptomatic HIV-seropositive subjects at baseline, 6 months later, and 12 months later. The volume of ELF and the concentration of GSH and oxidized GSH were determined. The concentration of total GSH in ELF was 689.0±100.4 µM. This significantly decreased when measured 6 and 12 months later (355.9±41.7 µM, and 397.9±52.7 µM, respectively, p=0.01, compared with baseline, both comparisons). Significant decreases were also noted in the HIV-seropositive subjects who smoked cigarettes (baseline—762.6±142.4 µM; 6 months—373.7±45.9 µM; 12 months—459.3±73.8 µM, p<0.03, for baseline vs 6 months, and baseline vs 12 months). In nonsmoking HIV-seropositive subjects, there was a decrease in ELF GSH over time, but it did not reach statistical significance (baseline—589.1±138.2 µM; 6 months—335.3±74.1 µM; 12 months—345.8±74.0 µM, p>0.1, all comparisons). The percentage of total GSH in the oxidized form was similar at all three time points (baseline—3.8±0.5%; 6 months—3.1±0.5%; 12 months—3.9±0.9%, p>0.1, all comparisons).
Conclusions: The current study demonstrates that the GSH level in ELF is significantly decreased in HIV-seropositive subjects 6 and 12 months after the initial determination.