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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Mar 1;89(5):1577-81.

Progressive glomerulosclerosis and enhanced renal accumulation of basement membrane components in mice transgenic for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 genes.

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  • 1Laboratory of Developmental Biology, National Institute of Dental Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


Patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) develop a renal syndrome characterized by proteinuria, renal failure, and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. By using a noninfectious HIV-1 DNA construct lacking the gag and pol genes, three transgenic mouse lines have been generated that develop a syndrome remarkably similar to the human disease. In the present study, we have characterized in detail one of these lines, Tg26. In Tg26 mice, proteinuria was detectable at approximately 24 days of age, followed by severe nephrotic syndrome and rapid progression to end-stage renal failure. Renal histology showed focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and microcystic tubular dilatation. Indirect immunofluorescence studies demonstrated increased accumulation of the basement membrane components laminin, collagen type IV, and heparan sulfate proteoglycan. The viral protein Rev was present in sclerotic glomeruli. Northern blot analysis of total renal RNA showed expression of viral genes prior to the appearance of histologic renal disease, with greatly diminished viral gene expression late in the disease course. Kidneys from transgenic mice expressed increased steady-state levels of collagen alpha 1(IV) mRNA when glomerulosclerosis was present. We conclude that the presence of HIV-1 genes is associated with progressive renal dysfunction and glomerulosclerosis in transgenic mice.

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