Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 33298174
Link to DOI – 10.1186/s13148-020-00971-w
Clin Epigenetics 2020 Dec; 12(1): 188
The molecular mechanisms underlying HIV-induced inflammation, which persists even during effective long-term treatment, remain incompletely defined. Here, we studied pathogenic and nonpathogenic simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infections in macaques and African green monkeys, respectively. We longitudinally analyzed genome-wide DNA methylation changes in CD4 + T cells from lymph node and blood, using arrays. DNA methylation changes after SIV infection were more pronounced in lymph nodes than blood and already detected in primary infection. Differentially methylated genes in pathogenic SIV infection were enriched for Th1-signaling (e.g., RUNX3, STAT4, NFKB1) and metabolic pathways (e.g., PRKCZ). In contrast, nonpathogenic SIVagm infection induced DNA methylation in genes coding for regulatory proteins such as LAG-3, arginase-2, interleukin-21 and interleukin-31. Between 15 and 18% of genes with DNA methylation changes were differentially expressed in CD4 + T cells in vivo. Selected identified sites were validated using bisulfite pyrosequencing in an independent cohort of uninfected, viremic and SIV controller macaques. Altered DNA methylation was confirmed in blood and lymph node CD4 + T cells in viremic macaques but was notably absent from SIV controller macaques. Our study identified key genes differentially methylated already in primary infection and in tissues that could contribute to the persisting metabolic disorders and inflammation in HIV-infected individuals despite effective treatment.