Identification of immune features of HIV-infected patients with antiretroviral therapy through bioinformatics analysis

Elsevier, Virology, Volume 566, January 2022
Zhang Z., Zhang L., Shen Y.

Background: Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a disease arising from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is a main therapeutic regimen for inhibiting HIV proliferation and viability. Identification of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in HIV-infected patients with and without ART could provide theoretical evidence for deep research into the efficacy of ART and corresponding mechanism. Methods: In this study, mRNA microarray data (GSE108296) of HIV-infected patients who received and didn't receive ART were downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database. DEGs were obtained through differential analysis with R package limma. Then, protein-protein interaction (PPI) analysis was performed to identify hub genes and functional modules. Besides, immune-related DEGs were screened, followed by GO annotation and KEGG pathway enrichment analysis. Moreover, various immune cells and immune functions in samples were analyzed by ESTIMATE, ssGSEA and CIBERSORT, based on which the immune function of HIV-infected patients who received and didn't receive ART was evaluated. Results: A total of 109 DEGs were obtained from differential analysis. Among them, 19 immune-related DEGs were identified and subjected to GO and KEGG enrichment analyses. Furthermore, PPI network analysis was undertaken on the 109 DEGs. 10 hub genes and 3 functional modules were further screened. It was shown that these genes and functional modules were correlated with immune functions and relevant signaling pathways. ESTIMATE, ssGSEA and CIBERSORT results displayed that HIV-infected patients with ART presented a relatively high immune level. Conclusion: According to bioinformatics analysis, we reasonably posited that HIV-infected patients who received ART had an increased immune level relative to patients who didn't receive ART.