Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Variations in mitochondrial DNA are associated with poorer CD4 cell gains after the initiation of antiretroviral therapy in non-Hispanic black patients
Black people who had a certain cluster of variations in mitochondrial DNA were less likely to experience an increase in their CD4 cell count above 100 cells/mm3 after a year of HIV therapy than patients with a differing genetic profile. All the patients had a viral load below 400 copies. There was no evidence of a similar influence of these variations, or haplogroups, of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) on CD4 cell changes in white or Hispanic patients. However, the investigators note that in other research involving Caucasian patients not taking HIV therapy certain haplogroups have been associated with increased progression to AIDS and faster falls in CD4 cell count. They comment that their study provides insight into the contribution of mitochondrial genomics to CD4 cell recovery in individuals of non-European descent.