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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2018 Aug 27;62(9). pii: e00691-18. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00691-18. Print 2018 Sep.

Combination of Tenofovir and Emtricitabine with Efavirenz Does Not Moderate Inhibitory Effect of Efavirenz on Mitochondrial Function and Cholesterol Biosynthesis in Human T Lymphoblastoid Cell Line.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
2
Department of Pediatrics, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA elijah.paintsil@yale.edu.
3
Department of Pharmacology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
4
Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

Abstract

Efavirenz (EFV), the most popular nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor, has been associated with mitochondrial dysfunction in most in vitro studies. However, in real life the prevalence of EFV-induced mitochondrial toxicity is relatively low. We hypothesized that the agents given in combination with EFV moderate the effect of EFV on mitochondrial function. To test this hypothesis, we cultured a human T lymphoblastoid cell line (CEM cells) with EFV alone and in combination with emtricitabine (FTC) and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) to investigate the effects on mitochondrial respiration and function and cholesterol biosynthesis. There was a statistically significant concentration- and time-dependent apoptosis, reduction in mitochondrial membrane potential, and increase in production of reactive oxygen species in cells treated with either EVF alone or in combination with TDF plus FTC. Compared to dimethyl sulfoxide-treated cells, EFV-treated cells had significant reduction in oxygen consumption rate contributed by basal mitochondrial respiration and decreased protein expression of electron transport chain complexes (CI, CII, and CIV). Treatment with EFV resulted in a decrease in mitochondrial DNA content and perturbation of more coding genes (n = 13); among these were 11 genes associated with lipid or cholesterol biosynthesis. Our findings support the growing body of knowledge on the effects of EFV on mitochondrial respiration and function and cholesterol biosynthesis. Interestingly, combining TDF and FTC with EFV did not alter the effects of EFV on mitochondrial respiration and function and cholesterol biosynthesis. The gap between the prevalence of EFV-induced mitochondrial toxicity in in vitro and in vivo studies could be due to individual differences in the pharmacokinetics of EFV.

KEYWORDS:

antiretroviral toxicity; cholesterol biosynthesis; efavirenz; mitochondria; respiration

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