Journal of neurovirology 2018 03 28() doi 10.1007/s13365-018-0629-1
The widespread use of antiretroviral therapy for treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections has dramatically improved the quality and duration of life for HIV-positive individuals. Despite this success, HIV persists for the life of an infected person in tissue reservoirs including the nervous system. Thus, whether HIV exacerbates age-related brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) is of concern. In support of this idea, HIV infection can be associated with motor and gait abnormalities that parallel late-stage manifestations of PD including dopaminergic neuronal loss. With these findings in hand, we investigated whether viral infection could affect nigrostriatal degeneration or exacerbate chemically induced nigral degeneration. We now demonstrate an additive effect of EcoHIV on dopaminergic neuronal loss and neuroinflammation induced by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine intoxication. HIV-1-infected humanized mice failed to recapitulate these EcoHIV results suggesting species-specific neural signaling. The results demonstrate a previously undefined EcoHIV-associated neurodegenerative response that may be used to model pathobiological aspects of PD.