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J Neurovirol. 2000 May;6 Suppl 1:S90-4.

Stages of restricted HIV-1 infection in astrocyte cultures derived from human fetal brain tissue.

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Laboratory of Molecular Medicine and Neuroscience, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Maryland, MD 20892, USA.


The predominant cell types infected by HIV-1 in AIDS associated encephalopathy are cells of the macrophage/microglial lineage. There has been consistent evidence, however, that astrocytes also become infected although not at the same frequency or level of multiplication as microglial cells. HIV-1 antigens and/or nucleic acid have been identified in astrocytes in brain autopsy tissue from both adult and pediatric AIDS cases. In cell cultures, HIV-1 infection of astrocytes results in an initial productive but non-cytopathogenic infection that diminishes to a viral persistence or latent state. Understanding the nature of HIV-1 infection of astrocytes, which represents the largest population of cells in the brain, will contribute to the understanding of AIDS encephalopathy and the dementia that occurs in nearly one-quarter of all AIDS patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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