Characterization of neuropathology in the HIV-1 transgenic rat at different ages.

Research paper by William C WC Reid, Wael G WG Ibrahim, Saejeong J SJ Kim, Frank F Denaro, Rafael R Casas, Dianne E DE Lee, Dragan D Maric, Dima A DA Hammoud

Indexed on: 06 Mar '16Published on: 06 Mar '16Published in: Journal of Neuroimmunology


The transgenic HIV-1 rat (Tg) is a commonly used neuroHIV model with documented neurologic/behavioral deficits. Using immunofluorescent staining of the Tg brain, we found astrocytic dysfunction/damage, as well as dopaminergic neuronal loss/dysfunction, both of which worsening significantly in the striatum with age. We saw mild microglial activation in young Tg brains, but this decreased with age. There were no differences in neurogenesis potential suggesting a neurodegenerative rather than a neurodevelopmental process. Gp120 CSF levels exceeded serum gp120 levels in some animals, suggesting local viral protein production in the brain. Further probing of the pathophysiology underlying astrocytic injury in this model is warranted.