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Am J Infect Dis. 2006;2(2):49-57.

Heroin-Induces Differential Protein Expression by Normal Human Astrocytes (NHA).

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Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo General Hospital 100 High Street, Buffalo, New York 14203.


Heroin use is postulated to act as a cofactor in the neuropathogenesis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) infection. Astrocytes, integral components of the CNS, are reported to be susceptible to HIV-1 infection. Upon activation, astrocytes release a number of immunoregulatory products or modulate the expression of a number of proteins that foster the immunopathogenesis of HIV-1 infection. However, the role of heroin on HIV-1 infectivity and the expression of the proteome of normal human astrocytes (NHA) have not been elucidated. We hypothesize that heroin modulates the expression of a number of proteins by NHA that foster the neuoropathogenesis of HIV-1 infection. We utilized LTR amplification and the p24 antigen assay to quantitate the effect of heroin on HIV-1 infectivity while difference gel electrophoresis (DIGE) combined with protein identification through high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) to analyze the effects of heroin on the proteomic profile of NHA. Results demonstrate that heroin potentiates HIV-1 replication in NHA. Furthermore, heroin significantly increased protein expression levels for protein kinase C (PKC), reticulocalbin 1 precursor, reticulocalbin 1, tyrosine 3-monooxgenase/tryptophan 5-monooxgenase activation protein, chloride intracellular channel 1, cathepsin D preproprotein, galectin 1 and myosin light chain alkali. Heroin also significantly decreased protein expression for proliferating cell nuclear antigen, proteasome beta 6 subunit, tropomyosin 3, laminin receptor 1, tubulin alpha 6, vimentin, EF hand domain family member D2, Tumor protein D54 (hD54), ATP synthase, H+ transporting, mitochondrial F1 complex and ribosomal protein S14. Identification of unique, heroin-induced proteins may help to develop novel markers for diagnostic, preventative and therapeutic targeting in heroin using subjects.


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