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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2005 Dec 15;1746(2):129-34. Epub 2005 Nov 17.

HIV infection is associated with increased NTPDase activity that correlates with CD39-positive lymphocytes.

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Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Ciências Básicas da Saúde, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Rua Ramiro Barcellos, 2600-Anexo, 90035-003, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.


Infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) results in alterations in immune cells such as an increase or decrease of cytokine secretion and immunodeficiency. HIV causes a state of chronic cellular activation that can induce apoptosis in lymphocyte T-helpers, making the patient susceptive to opportunistic infections. The biochemical mechanisms involved in this immune response to HIV have been researched. Here, we have shown for the first time that ATP and ADP hydrolysis are essential for the immune response to HIV. Our results clearly indicate an increase of NTPDase-1 (EC activity in lymphocytes of HIV-positive patients, confirmed by an enhanced CD39 expression on its surface. These results suggest that NTPDase-1 may be important to keep an adequate balance between the generation and consumption of ATP and to preserve cellular integrity and immune response to the HIV infection.

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