The Role of Metallothionein and Some Micronutrients in the Pathogenesis of HIV Infection: A Review

Mathias A. Emokpae1* and Rachel I. Nimenibo-Uadia2
1Department of Medical Laboratory Science, School of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medical Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria.
2Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria.

Corresponding Author: [email protected]; Tel: +2348034511182
Recieved Date: June 12, 2018; Accepted Date: June 27, 2018; Published Date: 08 July 2018
Citation: Emokpae and Nimenibo-Uadia. The Role of Metallothionein and Some Micronutrients in the Pathogenesis of HIV Infection: A Review. Trop J Nat Prod Res. 2018; 2(7):303-308.
Copyright: © 2018 Emokpae and Nimenibo-Uadia. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection remains a major public health challenge especially in sub-Sahara Africa where the prevalence is highest compared to other regions of the world. The problem of micronutrients deficiency in this region is far from being resolved and has been associated with HIV disease severity, disease progression and mortality. The purpose of this review was to highlight the roles and significance of the serum levels of metallothionein and ceruloplasmin in the homeostasis of some essential elements in HIV infected subjects. Google scholar and Pubmed search engines were used to search for relevant articles which were used for this review. In HIV infection, there is an increase in the positive acute phase proteins such as ceruloplasmin and a decrease in negative acute phase reactant such as transferrin, zinc and iron. Ceruloplasmin and metallothionein help in maintaining homeostasis of essential metals in the body such as copper, zinc and iron which aid in regulation of the immune system. Various studies have shown that there is an increase in serum ceruloplasmin levels which helps to transport copper and an increase in copper leads to a decrease in serum level of zinc thereby leading to decrease in metallothionein which is induced by zinc. Supplementation of some of these essential elements has been implemented, but cautious use of trace elements supplements is suggested. Laboratory monitoring of serum levels of these elements and proteins cannot be ignored.

Keywords: Ceruloplasmin, metallothionein, essential micronutrients, human immunodeficiency virus.
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