STING And CGAS Gene Expressions Were Downregulated Among HIV-1-infected Persons After Antiretroviral Therapy
The HIV-1 epidemic is still considered a global public health problem, but great advances have been made in fighting it by antiretroviral therapy (ART). ART has a considerable impact on viral replication and host immunity. The production of type I interferon (IFN) is key to the innate immune response to viral infections. The STING and cGAS proteins have proven roles in the antiviral cascade. The present study aimed to evaluate the impact of ART on innate immunity, which was represented by STING and cGAS gene expression and plasma IFN-α level.
This cohort study evaluated a group of 33 individuals who were initially naïve to therapy and who were treated at a reference center and reassessed 12 months after starting ART. Gene expression levels and viral load were evaluated by real-time PCR, CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocyte counts by flow cytometry, and IFN-α level by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
From before to after ART, the CD4+ T cell count and the CD4+/CD8+ ratio significantly increased (p < 0.0001), the CD8+ T cell count slightly decreased, and viral load decreased to undetectable levels in most of the group (84.85%). The expression of
ART provided immune recovery and viral suppression to the studied group and indirectly downregulated the