The official journal of
EUROPAD - European Opiate Addiction Treatment Association
WFTOD - World Federation for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence
Editor: Icro Maremmani, MD - Pisa, Italy, EU
Associate Editors:
Thomas Clausen, MD - Oslo, Norway
Pier Paolo Pani, MD - Cagliari, Italy, EU
Marta Torrens, MD - Barcelona, Spain, EU
Statistical Editor:
Mario Miccoli, PhD - Pisa, Italy, EU

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Heroin Addiction and Related Clinical Problems: 2024, 26, 31

The effect of intravenous heroin injection on gene expression in HIV-1 infected people

Ahmad Hosseinzadeh Adli, and Seyed Mohammad Jazayeri

Digital Object Identifier:

Summary: Background. Human immunodeficiency virus infection targets several key cellular genes and proteins that play critical roles in the cell cycle, immune system, and viral pathogenesis. Checkpoint gene expression profiles are largely unknown in HIV-infected people who inject heroin, and the study of these genes has provided critical insights into host-virus interactions and viral infection pathologies. Methods. In the present study, whole blood was collected in EDTA anticoagulant tubes from 40 HIV-positive male patients who inject heroin and 40 HIV-positive male patients, who do not use illicit drugs, as a control group. RT-qPCR validation of CDK-1 gene and immune checkpoint genes (TIM-3, CTLA-4, SIGLEC7, PD-1, and LAG-3) was performed on PBMC of HIV-1-infected individuals. Results. All participants had seronegative testing for HBV, HCV, and TB infections. CDK-1 and PD-1 genes were up-regulated in PBMC of HIV-1 infected individuals who inject heroin, compared to the control group. No significant differences were noted in the expression of TIM-3, CTLA-4, SIGLEC7 and LAG-3 genes. Conclusions. Major cellular and immune-related genes may be potential therapeutic targets in heroin-injected people with HIV-1 infection. In this study, we found upregulation of CDK-1 and PD-1 genes in patients who inject heroin, compared to the control group, likely due to drug abuse. Our study provides insight into the mechanisms of HIV-1 interaction and key cellular genes, which may lead to developing additional therapeutic options for treating HIV-1-infected people who inject heroin.

Keywords: HIV-1; CDK-1; Immune checkpoints; Heroin use; Gene expression


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