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HIV Damages Cellular Mitochondria

HIV Damages Cellular Mitochondria


Although studies have suggested that damage to mitochondria in HIV-infected cells is linked to certain antiretroviral drugs, a study in the May 1 edition of the Journal of Infectious Diseases shows the virus itself causes some mitochondrial damage. Reserchers followed 36 HIV-positive men who were not taking anti-HIV medications and discovered levels of mitochondrial DNA fell by 11% during the first year of infection. Scientists theorize HIV causes an increase in the generation of damaging reactive oxygen species in the cells it infects, causing mutations in mitochondrial DNA, or that proteins directly produced by HIV damage mitrochondria. Mitchondrial damage has been tied to antiretroviral-related side effects such as peripheral neuropathy and lipoatrophy. Studies have shown nucleoside analogs to be linked to the conditions.

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