Background & objectives: Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) are known to cause mitochondrial toxicity. This study was done to estimate mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) content of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected, NRTI treated and antiretroviral therapy (ART)-naïve patients and evaluate the utility of mtDNA content as a biomarker of mitochondrial toxicity. Methods: mtDNA content in PBMCs of 57 HIV-infected ART untreated and 30 ART treated with stavudine (d4T) or zidovudine (AZT) containing regimen were compared against 24 low-risk healthy controls (LoRHC). Results: There was a significant (P=0.01) reduction in mtDNA content among HIV-infected (104; 80-135) compared to LoRHC (127; 110-167), and it was the same in both the treated (104.8; 88-130) and untreated patients (104.7; 78-142). mtDNA significantly (P=0.014) declined in ART treated patients symptomatic for toxicity (97; 74-111) than the asymptomatic patients (128; 103- 153). Interpretation & conclusions: mtDNA depletion in PBMCs was evident among HIV-infected individuals on ART. Moreover, as mtDNA content was reduced among the patients symptomatic for toxicity than the asymptomatic in both the HIV-infected groups, the current study supports mtDNA content of PBMCs to serve as a biomarker of mitochondrial dysfunction induced by NRTI and HIV. Longitudinal studies with a large sample need to be done to confirm these findings.
- ART naïve
- Mitochondrial DNA
- Mitochondrial dysfunction
- Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors
- Peripheral blood mononuclear cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)