The purpose of this research is to study the effects of rosiglitazone, a drug usually taken
for Type II diabetes, on HIV-associated hyperlipidemia. HIV-associated lipodystrophy is a
medical condition characterized by gradual changes in the distribution of body fat. The
body fat located in the extremities and face disappears while body fat around the abdomen
and upper back increases. Certain biochemical changes occur in association with these
changes in fat distribution. Lipid levels particularly serum triglycerides are increased.
HDL, the "good cholesterol" is decreased. Higher than normal level of insulin or insulin
resistance is also found in this condition. This latter condition is one of the hallmarks
of Type II diabetes. The protease inhibitors, a class of HIV medications, are associated
with the occurrence of HIV-associated lipodystrophy. It has been suggested that a
biochemical pathway known as the peripheral peroxisomal activating receptor (PPAR) gamma
system is blocked leading to the onset of this condition.
Rosiglitazone is a new drug approved by the FDA in 1999 for the treatment of type II
diabetes. It lowers blood sugar by improving insulin resistance, which as mentioned before,
is the hallmark of Type II diabetes. It has also been noted to improve blood lipid levels.
Rosiglitazone works by stimulating the PPAR gamma system. It is hoped that this drug can
turn on the PPAR system and reverse the HIV-associated lipodystrophy syndrome.
- HIV-positive with CD4 count > 500 and undetectable viral load
- Treated with protease inhibitors for more than three months
- Serum triglycerides > 400mg/dl
- Clinical diagnosis of HIV-associated lipodystrophy
- No history of type II diabetes
- Fasting blood sugar < 126 mg/dl
- No history of liver disease
- Negative Hepatitis B antigen and Hepatitis C antibody
- Not on the following medications: warfarin, digoxin, nifedipine, erythromycin,
cyclosporine or HMG coA-reductase inhibitors
- Hemoglobin > 11g/dl
- Women of childbearing age must consent to barrier contraception