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Neurobiol Aging. 2008 Apr;29(4):614-21. Epub 2006 Dec 15.

Aging sensitizes mice to behavioral deficits induced by central HIV-1 gp120.

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Division of Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.


The number of older adults with HIV-1 disease is increasing but little is known about how age influences behavioral deficits associated with HIV-1 infection. The purpose of this study was to determine in a murine model if aging influenced sickness behavior following central injection of HIV-1 gp120. In initial studies, behavioral deficits induced by acute and repeated intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of gp120 were greater in aged mice than in adults. Furthermore, repeated ICV injection of gp120 increased hippocampal levels of IL-1 beta and IL-6 mRNA in aged mice but not in adults. To determine if IL-6, which is elevated in aged brain, affects expression of the gp120-binding target, CCR5, microglia (BV-2 cell line) were incubated with increasing concentrations of IL-6. Cell surface expression of CCR5 was increased by IL-6 in a dose-dependent manner. Additionally, IL-6 increased gp120-dependent chemotaxis. These results suggest that aging increases the sensitivity of mice to behavioral deficits caused by ICV gp120, perhaps by increasing expression of CCR5 and augmenting production of cytokines.

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