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Brain Pathol. 1991 Apr;1(3):177-84.

Immunopathogenesis of HIV encephalitis.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0612.

Abstract

HIV infection leads to severe immunosuppression and in a sub-population of patients, encephalitis. Whether systemic immunosuppression is required for CNS infection is still unclear. However, latent infection of monocytes/macrophages is an important mechanism by which HIV escapes immune surveillance and enters the CNS. Unlike other viral encephalitides, HIV predominantly infects macrophages/microglia and not neurons and glia. These cells produce retroviral proteins and cytokines which may be neurotoxic. Despite significant MHC expression within the CNS, there is a limited infiltration of immune cells, possibly due to a defect in systemic immunity. Anti-retroviral therapy by decreasing viral replication and reversing immunosuppression, may arrest nervous system damage.

PMID:
1669706
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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