Journal of medical virology 2016 5 27() doi 10.1002/jmv.24586
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNA species essential for the post-translational regulation of gene expression. Several miRNA have been proposed to contribute to Human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infection establishment, progression and latency. Among them, miR-29a seems to be of particular interest. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between miR-29a expression and immunologic and virologic markers of HIV infection progression in long-term antiretroviral-treated individuals. In a homogenous group of 165 young adults, with chronic HIV infection, parenterally acquired during childhood, the expression level of miR-29a was found to be inversely correlated with HIV viral load and the degree of immunosuppression, expressed by both CD4 cell count and the CD4/CD8 ratio. There was a significant difference in miR-29a expression according to the patient’s response to treatment, with the lowest levels expressed by patients with treatment failure, defined as detectable viremia and CD4 <350 cells/mm(3) . No significant correlation was found between miRNA level and the nadir CD4 count or zenith HIV viral load. This study establishes the association between miR-29a expression and markers of HIV infection in long term survivors, treatment-experienced patients, suggesting its potential use as an indicator for the on-treatment disease evolution. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.