Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Apoptosis seems to play an important role in the decline of CD4+ T-cells in patients infected with HIV-1. Moreover, extensive interest in apoptosis comes from the observation that it correlates both with the progression and the severity of HIV-1 infection. A cross-sectional study was made to evaluate whether such correlation may also extend to the early phases of ex vivo apoptosis, after 20 h of culture. DNA fragmentation, a parameter associated with apoptosis, was evaluated with the terminal deoxynucleotidyl-transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labelling (TUNEL) technique, which preferentially labels apoptosis in comparison to necrosis. The results obtained indicate that a negative correlation exists between the proportion of lymphocytes exhibiting DNA strand breaks and the absolute number of CD4+ T-cells per &μl. DNA fragmentation was significantly higher in patients with AIDS or advanced HIV-1 infection as compared to asymptomatic patients or seronegative individuals. No significant difference was found in relation to antiretroviral therapy. Furthermore, the addition of nicotinamide to the cultures significantly reduced DNA fragmentation of both in vitro HIV-1-infected MT-4 cells and lymphocytes from six HIV-1-seropositive individuals. The results of this study confirm that DNA fragmentation, as an early marker of apoptosis, correlates with the severity of HIV-1 infection and suggest that nicotinamide may be involved in the modulation of HIV-1-related apoptosis. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Type of Medium: