Differential Expression of Werner and Bloom Syndrome Genes in the Peripheral Blood of HIV-1 Infected Patients

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Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-induced immunodeficiency and immune-system aging share some analogies. Since Werner (WRN) and Bloom (BLM) helicases are crucial in cell repair and aging, their peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) mRNA levels were compared in HIV-1 infected patients and in normal donors. The mean levels of WRN mRNA were 3.7-fold higher in PBMCs from HIV-1 infected individuals in comparison to healthy donors, whereas BLM mRNA mean levels were slightly higher, although not significantly. WRN increase was positively correlated to CD4 and CD8 T-cell numbers, and also the percentage of naive T lymphocytes, and was observed also in T-cell subsets. Interestingly, a general trend toward increased WRN mRNA levels in individuals with lower viral load was observed, without association with patient age, time of seroconversion, and on/off antiretroviral therapy regimen. On the whole, this study shows that WRN and BLM are differentially modulated in HIV infection, as WRN-but not BLM-is significantly increased, suggesting that mechanisms different from defect or loss of helicase function, observed in WRN and BLM syndromes, may be at the basis of T-cell aging in HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-99
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007


  • aging
  • BLM
  • HIV-induced pathogenesis
  • RecQ helicases
  • WRN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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