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Science. 1990 Dec 14;250(4987):1593-6.

Secretion of neurotoxins by mononuclear phagocytes infected with HIV-1.

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Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030.


Mononuclear phagocytes (microglia, macrophages, and macrophage-like giant cells) are the principal cellular targets for human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) in the central nervous system (CNS). Since HIV-1 does not directly infect neurons, the causes for CNS dysfunction in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) remain uncertain. HIV-1-infected human monocytoid cells, but not infected human lymphoid cells, released toxic agents that destroy chick and rat neurons in culture. These neurotoxins were small, heat-stable, protease-resistant molecules that act by way of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors. Macrophages and microglia infected with HIV-1 may produce neurologic disease through chronic secretion of neurotoxic factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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