n Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine - Association of -308 TNF-alpha promoter polymorphism with viral load and CD4 T-helper cell apoptosis in HIV-1 infected black South Africans : original article




To determine whether the -308 TNF-α promoter polymorphism is associated with markers of HIV progression in the South African population.

Polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism was used to detect the -308 TNF-α polymorphism in 75 patients and 76 healthy controls. Serum TNF-α concentrations were measured using ELISA in each cohort. CD4+ T cell apoptosis and HIV-1 RNA viral load were determined using Annexin-V-FITC assay and Nuclisens Easy Q HIV-1 assay respectively. CD4+ T cell counts were measured flow cytometrically.
The frequency of -308 G allele was similar in the HIV-1 and control cohorts. The -308GG genotype was associated with lower TNF-α concentrations and markers of increased HIV progression indicated by higher T lymphocyte apoptosis, lower T lymphocyte count and higher plasma viral load, irrespective of treatment.
The presence of the TNF-α -308 G allele in HIV-1 patients may be associated with increased risk of HIV-1 progression. Further research is required to investigate the nature of this association.


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