Some HIV-associated complications involve mitochondrial dysfunction and may be less common in individuals with iron-loading HFE (hemochromatosis gene) variants. We evaluated HFE 845A and 187G alleles in relation to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 85 individuals with HIV infection on uninterrupted antiretroviral therapy (ART) for 15 or more consecutive weeks. Carriers of HFE gene variants (N = 24) had significantly higher mtDNA levels than noncarriers (N = 61), after adjusting for age, race, sex, and type of ART [adjusted β-coefficient 297, p-value < .001 for at least one HFE variant], but mtDNA declined among all individuals on study during 48 weeks on ART. Increased cellular mtDNA content may represent a compensatory response to mitochondrial stress that is influenced by iron-loading HFE variants.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases