Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Ann Neurol. 1995 Mar;37(3):373-80.

Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 tat activates non-N-methyl-D-aspartate excitatory amino acid receptors and causes neurotoxicity.

Author information

  • 1Department of Physiology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.


The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) protein Tat is known to be released from HIV-1-infected cells. We show that micromolar concentrations of Tat depolarized young rat and adult human neurons. In addition, Tat, at similar concentrations, was toxic to human fetal neurons in culture. Tat-induced responses were insensitive to the Na+ channel blocker tetrodotoxin, suggesting a direct effect of Tat on neurons. Tat-induced depolarizations and cytotoxicity were blocked by the excitatory amino acid antagonist kynurenate. The N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist D-2-amino-5-phosphonovalerate had little effect on Tat-induced depolarizations but did provide protection from Tat neurotoxicity. These results suggest that Tat, released from HIV-1-infected cells, may be an important mediator of neurotoxicity observed in HIV-1 encephalopathy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk