Recent studies demonstrate that infection with the HIV-1 is associated with accelerated aging effects in adults according to a highly accurate epigenetic biomarker of aging known as epigenetic clock. However, it is not yet known whether epigenetic age acceleration occurs as early as adolescence in perinatally HIV-infected (PHIV+) youth.
Observational study of PHIV and HIV-uninfected adolescents enrolled in the Cape Town Adolescent Antiretroviral Cohort Study.
The Illumina EPIC array was used to generate blood DNA methylation data from 204 PHIV and 44 age-matched, uninfected (HIV−) adolescents aged 9–12 years old. The epigenetic clock software and method was used to estimate two measures of epigenetic age acceleration. Each participant completed a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery upon enrollment to Cape Town Adolescent Antiretroviral Cohort.
HIV is associated with biologically older blood in PHIV+ adolescents according to both measures of epigenetic age acceleration. One of the measures, extrinsic epigenetic age acceleration, is negatively correlated with measures of cognitive functioning (executive functioning, working memory, processing speed).
Overall, our results indicate that epigenetic age acceleration in blood can be observed in PHIV+ adolescents and that these epigenetic changes accompany poorer cognitive functioning.
aDepartment of Human Genetics, David Geffen School of Medicine
bDepartment of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA
cMRC Unit on Risk & Resilience in Mental Disorders, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town, J-Block, Groote Schuur Hospital, Observatory, Cape Town, South Africa
dCentre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, Department of Medical Genetics, British Columbia Children's Hospital Research Institute, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
eCentre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research
fDivision of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health & Family Medicine, University of Cape Town
gDepartment of Paediatrics and Child Health, Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital
hSA-Medical Research Council Unit on Child and Adolescent Health, University of Cape Town, South Africa
iDepartment of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA.
Correspondence to Andrew J. Levine, Department of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA. E-mail: AJLevine@mednet.ucla.edu
Received 19 January, 2018
Revised 13 April, 2018
Accepted 16 April, 2018