Send to

Choose Destination
Adv Pharmacol. 2000;49:315-85.

HIV-1-associated central nervous system dysfunction.

Author information

Pennsylvania State University, College of Medicine, Hershey 17033, USA.


Despite more than 15 years of extensive investigative efforts, a complete understanding of the neurological consequences of HIV-1 CNS infection remains elusive. Although the resources of numerous investigators have been focused on studies of HIV-1-associated CNS disease, the complex nature of the disease processes that underlie the clinical, pathological, and cellular manifestations of HIV-1 CNS infection have required a larger volume of studies than was initially envisioned. Several major areas remain as the focus of current research efforts. One of the more pressing issues facing researchers and clinicians alike is the search for correlates to the development of HIV-1-associated CNS neuropathology and the onset of HIVD. Although numerous parameters have been studied, none have been shown to be absolute predictors or markers of HIV-1-related CNS dysfunction. The identification of solid correlates of HIVD is an important goal that would permit clinical identification of individuals at risk for developing potentially crippling, life-threatening CNS abnormalities and would facilitate early treatment of nascent neurological problems. A more complete comprehension of the cellular foundations of CNS dysfunction and HIVD is also a fundamental part of strategies designed to treat or prevent HIV-1-associated CNS disease. Future investigations will strive to expand the body of knowledge concerning the complex interactions between infected and uninfected neuroglial cells and the roles of numerous cytokines, chemokines, and other soluble agents that are deregulated during HIV-1 CNS infection. In particular, a thorough understanding of the mechanisms of neurotoxicity may facilitate the development of new therapies that alleviate or eliminate the clinical consequences of CNS infection. Finally, investigators will continue to study HIVD within the context of single and combination drug therapies used in the treatment of HIV-1 infection and AIDS. As newer and more effective systemic treatments for HIV-1 infection and AIDS are introduced, the effects of these treatments on the onset, incidence, and severity of HIVD will also require intensive study. The impact of drug therapies on the ability of the CNS to act as an HIV-1 reservoir will also need to be addressed. Introduction of each new drug or drug combination will necessitate studies of drug penetration into the CNS and efficacy against the development of CNS abnormalities. Furthermore, as more effective treatments prolong the lifespan of individuals infected with HIV-1, the impact of extended survival on the occurrence and severity of HIVD will also require further investigations. The quest for answers to these and other questions will be complicated by the diversity of experimental systems used to study different aspects of HIV-1 CNS infection and HIVD. Each system has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. Clinical observations provide a continuous spectrum of symptomatic findings but reveal little about the underlying mechanisms of disease. In vivo imaging techniques, such as CT and MRI, also provide a continuum of observations, but the images are limited in their resolution. Neuropathological examinations of postmortem HIV-1-infected brains offer gross, cellular, and molecular views (including phenotypic and genotypic analyses of CNS viral isolates) of the diseased brain, but only provide a snapshot of the end-stage neurologic dysfunction. Studies that rely on animal surrogates for HIV-1, including SIV, simian-HIV (SHIV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), visna virus, and HIV-1 SCID-hu models, permit experimental protocols that cannot be carried out in humans, but are limited by the fidelity with which each virus and animal model emulates the conditions and events observed in the human host. Finally, in vitro techniques, which include the use of primary cells and cell lines, adult or fetal human cell cultures, and BBB barrier model systems, are also convenient means by which aspe.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center