Patterns of gene dysregulation in the frontal cortex of patients with HIV encephalitis

TitlePatterns of gene dysregulation in the frontal cortex of patients with HIV encephalitis
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsMasliah, E, Roberts, ES, Langford, D, Everall, I, Crews, LA, Adame, A, Rockenstein, E, Fox, HS
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Date Published12/2004
KeywordsInternal, Models, Neurological, Synaptophysin

The neurodegenerative process in HIV encephalitis (HIVE) is associated with extensive damage to the dendritic and synaptic structure that often leads to cognitive impairment. Several mechanisms might be at play, including release of neurotoxins, oxidative stress and decreased activity of neurotrophic factors. Furthermore, HIV-mediated dysregulation of genes involved in neuronal maintenance might play an important role. For this purpose, cRNA was prepared from the brains of 17 AIDS patients for analysis with the Affymetrix Human U95Av2 GeneChip and analyzed with the GeneSpring Expression Analysis Software. Out of 12,625 genes analyzed, 74 were downregulated and 59 were upregulated compared to controls. Initial alternative analysis of RNA was performed by ribonuclease protection assay (RPA). In cases with HIVE, downregulated genes included neuronal molecules involved in synaptic plasticity and transmission (ion channels, synaptogyrin, synapsin II), cell cycle (p35, p39, CDC-L2, CDC42, PAK1) and signaling molecules (PI3K, Ras-Raf-MEK1), transcription factors and cytoskeletal components (MAP-1B, MAP-2, tubulin, adducin-2). Upregulated genes included those involved in neuroimmune (IgG, MHC, beta2microglobulin) and anti-viral responses (interferon-inducible molecules), transcription (STAT1, OLIG2, Pax-6) and signaling modulation (MEK3, EphB1) of the cytoskeleton (myosin, aduccin-3, radixin, dystrobrevin). Taken together, this study suggests that HIV proteins released from infected macrophages might not only induce a neuroinflammatory response, but also may promote neurodegeneration by interfering with neuronal transcription of genes involved in regulating signaling and cytoskeletal molecules important in maintaining synapto-dendritic functioning and integrity.