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Front Biosci. 2008 May 1;13:5120-30.

Converging roles for sphingolipids and cell stress in the progression of neuro-AIDS.

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Department of Neurology, Richard T Johnson Division of Neuroimmunology and Neurological Infections, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 600 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.


Sphingolipids are a class of lipids enriched in the central nervous system that have important roles in signal transduction. Recent advances in our understanding of how sphingolipids are involved in the control of life and death signaling have uncovered roles for these lipids in the neuropathogenesis of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). In this review we briefly summarize the molecular mechanisms involved in the pathological production of the toxic sphingolipid, ceramide and address questions of how cytokine and cellular stress pathways that are perturbed in HAND converge to deregulate ceramide-associated signaling.

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