Mitochondria and ageing with HIV : Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS

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HIV AND AGING: Edited by Kristine M. Erlandson

Mitochondria and ageing with HIV

Hunt, Matthewa,b; Payne, Brendan A.I.a,c

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Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS 15(2):p 101-109, March 2020. | DOI: 10.1097/COH.0000000000000607


Purpose of review 

Some older people living with HIV (PLWH) exhibit features of unsuccessful ageing, such as frailty. Mitochondrial dysfunction is one of the best characterized ageing mechanisms. There has been recent interest in whether some people ageing with HIV may have an excess of mitochondrial dysfunction. This review aims to address this question through: analogy with ageing and chronic disease; discussion of the key unknowns; suggested ways that measures of mitochondrial dysfunction might be incorporated into HIV research studies.

Recent findings 

Recent data suggest that mitochondrial dysfunction in PLWH may not be wholly a legacy effect of historical nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitor exposures. Research in the non-HIV setting has altered our understanding of the important mediators of mitochondrial dysfunction in ageing.


Mitochondrial dysfunction is a very plausible driver of adverse ageing phenotypes in some older PLWH. As such it may be a target for therapeutic interventions. Currently, however, there remain considerable uncertainties around the extent of this phenomenon, and its relative importance. Current studies are likely to clarify these questions over the next few years.

Copyright © 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

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