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      Programming of neurotoxic cofactor CXCL-10 in HIV-1-associated dementia: abrogation of CXCL-10-induced neuro-glial toxicity in vitro by PKC activator

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          More than 50% of patients undergoing lifelong suppressive antiviral treatment for HIV-1 infection develop minor HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorders. Neurological complications during HIV-1 infection are the result of direct neuronal damage by proinflammatory products released from HIV-1-infected or -uninfected activated lymphocytes, monocytes, macrophages, microglia and astrocytes. The specific pro-inflammatory products and their roles in neurotoxicity are far from clear. We investigated proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of HIV-demented (HIV-D) and HIV-nondemented (HIV-ND) patients and studied their affect on neuroglial toxicity.

          Methods and results

          Bioplex array showed elevated levels of signatory chemokines or cytokines (IL-6, IFN-γ, CXCL10, MCP-1 and PDGF) in the CSF of HIV-D patients (n = 7) but not in that of HIV-ND patients (n = 7). Among the signatory cytokines and chemokines, CXCL10 was distinctly upregulated in-vitro in HIV-1 (NLENG1)-activated human fetal astrocytes, HIV-1 (Ba-L)-infected macrophages, and HIV-1 (NLENG1)-infected lymphocytes. Virus-infected macrophages also had increased levels of TNF-α. Consistently, human fetal astrocytes treated with HIV-1 and TNF-α induced the signatory molecules. CXCL10 in combination with HIV-1 synergistically enhanced neuronal toxicity and showed chemotactic activity (~ 40 fold) for activated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), suggesting the intersection of signaling events imparted by HIV-1 and CXCL10 after binding to their respective surface receptors, CXCR4 and CXCR3, on neurons. Blocking CXCR3 and its downstream MAP kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway suppressed combined CXCL10 and HIV-1-induced neurotoxicity. Bryostatin, a PKC modulator and suppressor of CXCR4, conferred neuroprotection against combined insult with HIV-1 and CXCL10. Bryostatin also suppressed HIV-1 and CXCL10-induced PBMC chemotaxis. Although, therapeutic targeting of chemokines in brain may have adverse consequences on the host, current findings and earlier evidence suggest that CXCL10 could strongly impede neuroinflammation.


          We have demonstrated induction of CXCL10 and other chemokines/cytokines during HIV-1 infection in the brain, as well as synergism of CXCL10 with HIV-1 in neuronal toxicity, which was dampened by bryostatin.

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          Most cited references 99

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          Rapid colorimetric assay for cellular growth and survival: Application to proliferation and cytotoxicity assays

          A tetrazolium salt has been used to develop a quantitative colorimetric assay for mammalian cell survival and proliferation. The assay detects living, but not dead cells and the signal generated is dependent on the degree of activation of the cells. This method can therefore be used to measure cytotoxicity, proliferation or activation. The results can be read on a multiwell scanning spectrophotometer (ELISA reader) and show a high degree of precision. No washing steps are used in the assay. The main advantages of the colorimetric assay are its rapidity and precision, and the lack of any radioisotope. We have used the assay to measure proliferative lymphokines, mitogen stimulations and complement-mediated lysis.
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            Production of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-associated retrovirus in human and nonhuman cells transfected with an infectious molecular clone.

            We constructed an infectious molecular clone of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-associated retrovirus. Upon transfection, this clone directed the production of infectious virus particles in a wide variety of cells in addition to human T4 cells. The progeny, infectious virions, were synthesized in mouse, mink, monkey, and several human non-T cell lines, indicating the absence of any intracellular obstacle to viral RNA or protein production or assembly. During the course of these studies, a human colon carcinoma cell line, exquisitely sensitive to DNA transfection, was identified.
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              Differential Expression of Chemokine Receptors and Chemotactic Responsiveness of Type 1 T Helper Cells (Th1s) and Th2s

              T helper cells type 1 (Th1s) that produce interferon-γ predominantly mediate cellular immune responses and are involved in the development of chronic inflammatory conditions, whereas Th2s which produce large amounts of IL-4 and IL-5 upregulate IgE production and are prominent in the pathogenesis of allergic diseases. The precise factors determining whether Th1- or Th2-mediated immune responses preferentially occur at a peripheral site of antigen exposure are largely unknown. Chemokines, a superfamily of polypeptide mediators, are a key component of the leukocyte recruitment process. Here we report that among four CXC (CXCR1-4) and five CC (CCR1-5) chemokine receptors analyzed, CXCR3 and CCR5 are preferentially expressed in human Th1s. In contrast, Th2s preferentially express CCR4 and, to a lesser extent, CCR3. In agreement with the differential chemokine receptor expression, Th1s and Th2s selectively migrate in response to the corresponding chemokines. The differential expression of chemokine receptors may dictate, to a large extent, the migration and tissue homing of Th1s and Th2s. It may also determine different susceptibility of Th1s and Th2s to human immunodeficiency virus strains using different fusion coreceptors.

                Author and article information

                J Neuroinflammation
                J Neuroinflammation
                Journal of Neuroinflammation
                BioMed Central
                18 October 2012
                : 9
                : 239
                [1 ]Department of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology, University of South Carolina, School of Medicine, Columbia, SC, 29209, USA
                [2 ]Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, 29209, USA
                Copyright ©2012 Mehla et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



                chemotaxis, bryostatin, chemokines, cytokines, tnf-α, cxcr4/cxcr3


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