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Keywords:

  • HIV;
  • antiretroviral therapy;
  • mitochondrial toxicity;
  • flow cytometry;
  • quantitative PCR;
  • diagnostics

Abstract

Background:

Non-invasive diagnostic assays to evaluate mitochondrial toxicity could have significant clinical utility for HIV-infected individuals on antiretroviral therapy (ART).

Methods:

This study compared the ratio of mitochondrial to nuclear DNA determined by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) to the ratio of mitochondrial to nuclear-encoded proteins by flow cytometry, in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 73 HIV-infected individuals with and without risk factors for mitochondrial toxicity.

Results:

PCR detected similar mitochondrial/nuclear DNA in HIV-infected individuals without a history of ART, and those receiving ART with lipodystrophy, lipoatrophy, or a history of suspected lactic acidosis. However, the ratio was significantly greater in ART-untreated compared to those receiving either stavudine or didanosine. In contrast, flow cytometry did not detect any differences in mitochondrial/nuclear protein (Lin et al., Cytometry B 2009;76B:181–190). There was no correlation between the assays (rho = −0.05, P = 0.65).

Conclusions:

Assessment of the mitochondrial/nuclear DNA ratio by qPCR performed better than the mitochondrial/nuclear-encoded protein ratio by flow cytometry to detect adverse effects of nucleoside analogs on mitochondria. © 2012 International Clinical Cytometry Society