Lymphotropic virions affect chemokine receptor-mediated neural signaling and apoptosis: Implications for human immunodeficiency virus type 1- associated dementia

Jialin Zheng, Anuja Ghorpade, Douglas Niemann, Robin L. Cotter, Michael R. Thylin, Leon Epstein, Jennifer M. Swartz, Robin B. Shepard, Xiaojuan Liu, Adeline Nukuna, Howard E. Gendelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

118 Scopus citations


Chemokine receptors pivotal for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection in lymphocytes and macrophages (CCR3, CCR5, and CXCR4) are expressed on neural cells (microglia, astrocytes, and/or neurons). It is these cells which are damaged during progressive HIV-1 infection of the central nervous system. We theorize that viral coreceptors could effect neural cell damage during HIV-l-associated dementia (HAD) without simultaneously affecting viral replication. To these ends, we studied the ability of diverse viral strains to affect intracellular signaling and apoptosis of neurons, astrocytes, and monocyte-derived macrophages. Inhibition of cyclic AMP, activation of inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate, and apoptosis were induced by diverse HIV-1 strains, principally in neurons. Virions from T-cell-tropic (T-tropic) strains (MN, IIIB, and Lai) produced the most significant alterations in signaling of neurons and astrocytes. The HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein, gp120, induced markedly less neural damage than purified virions. Macrophage-tropic (M-tropic) strains (ADA, JR-FL, Bal, MS- CSF, and DJV) produced the least neural damage, while 89.6, a dual-tropic HIV-1 strain, elicited intermediate neural cell damage. All T-tropic strain- mediated neuronal impairments were blocked by the CXCR4 antibody, 12G5. In contrast, the M-tropic strains were only partially blocked by 12G5. CXCR4- mediated neuronal apoptosis was confirmed in pure populations of rat cerebellar granule neurons and was blocked by HA1004, an inhibitor of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, protein kinase A, and protein kinase C. Taken together, these results suggest that progeny HIV-1 virions can influence neuronal signal transduction and apoptosis. This process occurs, in part, through CXCR4 and is independent of CD4 binding. T-tropic viruses that traffic in and out of the brain during progressive HIV-1 disease may play an important role in HAD neuropathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8256-8267
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 29 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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