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J Neurovirol. 2013 Apr;19(2):144-9. doi: 10.1007/s13365-013-0150-5. Epub 2013 Feb 7.

Cytokines in CSF correlate with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders in the post-HAART era in China.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Beijing Youan Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100069, China.


In the current era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), the incidence of HIV dementia has declined, but the prevalence of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) remains high. HIV-induced systemic and localized inflammation is considered to be one of the mechanisms of HAND. Changes in cytokine levels in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) during HIV infection might help to identify HAND. To investigate whether the cytokine profile of the CSF during HIV infection could be used as a biomarker of HAND, we compared cytokine levels in the CSF of HIV-infected cases with and without neurocognitive impairment. Cytokine concentrations in the CSF were measured by quantification bioassays (Luminex xMAP). HIV-infected cases with neurocognitive impairment demonstrated higher levels of interleukin (IL)-8, monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-1, induced protein (IP)-10, and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) in the CSF than those without neurocognitive impairment (G-CSF (p = 0.0003), IL-8 (p = 0.0046), IP-10 (p < 0.0001), and MCP-1 (p < 0.0001)). There was no significant impact of HAART on cytokine levels in the CSF, except for IP-10, which was higher in HAART-treated patients with impaired cognition (p = 0.0182). Findings from this preliminary study suggest that elevated levels of the cytokines IL-8, MCP-1, G-CSF, and IP-10 in the CSF are associated with neurocognitive impairment in HIV infection, and these cytokines likely represent a biomarker profile for HAND.

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