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Current HIV Research

Editor-in-Chief

ISSN (Print): 1570-162X
ISSN (Online): 1873-4251

High Frequency of Grossly Deleted nef Genes in HIV-1 Infected Long-Term Slow Progressors Treated with Korean Red Ginseng

Author(s): Heungsup Sung, Hee J. Lee, Ji Y. Lim, You S. Jung, Sun K. Oh, Young K. Cho, Ji Y. Lim, You S. Jung, Sun K. Oh and Hee J. Lee

Volume 4, Issue 4, 2006

Page: [447 - 457] Pages: 11

DOI: 10.2174/157016206778560072

Price: $65

Abstract

To investigate the association between Korean red ginseng (KRG) intake in HIV-1 infected patients and the occurrence of grossly deleted nef genes (gΔnef), we characterized nef genes in 10 long-term slow progressors (LTSP) infected with HIV-1 subtype B and 34 control patients. LTSP was defined by the annual decrease in CD4 T cells being less than 20/μl over 10 years in the absence of antiretroviral therapy. They were treated with KRG for a prolonged period. Nef genes were amplified from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) using nested PCR and the products were sequenced directly. It was observed that the patients CD4 T cell counts decreased from 444 ± 207/μl to 294 ± 177/μl over 136 ± 23 months of KRG intake. This corresponds to an annual decrease in the level of CD4 T cells of 13.3/μl. A total of 479 nef genes were amplified from 137 PBMC samples. Nine out of the 10 patients, 47 (34.3 %) out of the 137 samples, and 90 out of the 479 genes revealed gΔnef. The deletion extended outside the nef gene in 25 gΔnef obtained from 6 patients. The proportion of samples with gΔnef (34.3 %) was significantly higher than 4.8 % in control patients (P < 0.001). In addition, it significantly increased as the duration of KRG intake prolongs (P < 0.01). These data suggest that the occurrence of g nef might be associated with long-term intake of KRG.

Keywords: Korean red ginseng, HIV-1 subtype B, long-term slow progressor, Grossly deleted nef


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