Author(s): Dobmeyer TS, Findhammer S, Dobmeyer JM, Klein SA, Raffel B, , Dobmeyer TS, Findhammer S, Dobmeyer JM, Klein SA, Raffel B,
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Abstract Programmed cell death (apoptosis) of T-lymphocytes observed in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected individuals could be linked to oxidative stress. Therefore, we have investigated whether reactive oxygen species (ROS) induce apoptosis, which might contribute to the cell loss during progression of HIV-1 infection. ROS were generated in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) obtained from HIV-1-positive patients and from healthy controls by stimulation with bacteria or by treatment with hypoxanthine/xanthine oxidase, which has been shown to generate ROS without direct involvement of cytokines. A dose-dependent inhibition of ROS formation correlated with the reduction of apoptosis induced by both bacterial and hypoxanthine/xanthine oxidase stimulation, suggesting that ROS generation was responsible for the induction of apoptosis. In addition, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) rather than superoxide (O2.-) was observed to induce apoptosis. ROS-dependent apoptosis was shown to be independent of cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). ROS-induced apoptosis was significantly enhanced in HIV-infected subjects even in the very early stages after infection. Moreover, ROS-mediated apoptosis was not restricted to a particular lymphocyte subset. In view of the diminished oxidative resistance of HIV-infected individuals, our results suggest that ROS-mediated apoptosis might contribute to the deletion of lymphocytes and to the pathogenesis of the disease.
This article was published in Free Radic Biol Med
and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research