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Mol Med. 1997 Aug;3(8):553-64.

TNF-alpha opens a paracellular route for HIV-1 invasion across the blood-brain barrier.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine 90095-1769, USA. fiala@ucla.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

HIV-1 invades the central nervous system early after infection when macrophage infiltration of the brain is low but myelin pallor is suggestive of blood-brain-barrier damage. High-level plasma viremia is a likely source of brain infection. To understand the invasion route, we investigated virus penetration across in vitro models with contrasting paracellular permeability subjected to TNF-alpha.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Blood-brain-barrier models constructed with human brain microvascular endothelial cells, fetal astrocytes, and collagen I or fibronectin matrix responded in a dose-related fashion to cytokines and ligands modulating paracellular permeability and cell migration. Virus penetration was measured by infectious and quantitative HIV-1 RNA assays. Barrier permeability was determined using inulin or dextran.

RESULTS:

Cell-free HIV-1 was retained by the blood-brain barrier with close to 100% efficiency. TNF-alpha increased virus penetration by a paracellular route in a dose-dependent manner proportionately to basal permeability. Brain endothelial cells were the main barrier to HIV-1. HIV-1 with monocytes attracted monocyte migration into the brain chamber.

CONCLUSIONS:

Early after the infection, the blood-brain barrier protects the brain from HIV-1. Immune mediators, such as TNF-alpha, open a paracellular route for the virus into the brain. The virus and viral proteins stimulate brain microglia and macrophages to attract monocytes into the brain. Infiltrating macrophages cause progression of HIV-1 encephalitis.

PMID:
9307983
PMCID:
PMC2230176
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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