Conditional Tat Protein Brain Expression in the GT-tg Bigenic Mouse Induces Cerebral Fractional Anisotropy Abnormalities

Author(s): Amanda N. Carey, Xiaoxu Liu, Dionyssios Mintzopoulos, Jason J. Paris, Jay P. McLaughlin, Marc J. Kaufman

Journal Name: Current HIV Research

Volume 13 , Issue 1 , 2015

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Cerebral white matter changes including tissue water diffusion abnormalities detected with diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DTI) are commonly found in humans with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection, as well as in animal models of the disorder. The severities of some of these abnormalities have been reported to correlate with measures of disease progression or severity, or with the degree of cognitive dysfunction. Accordingly, DTI may be a useful translational biomarker. HIV-Tat protein appears to be an important factor in the viral pathogenesis of HIV-associated neurotoxicity. We previously reported cerebral gray matter density reductions in the GT-tg bigenic mouse treated with doxycycline (Dox) to conditionally induce Tat protein expression. Presently, we administered intraperitoneal (i.p.) Dox (100 mg/kg/day) for 7 days to GT-tg mice to determine whether induction of conditional Tat expression led to the development of cerebral DTI abnormalities. Perfused and fixed brains from eight GT-tg mice administered Dox and eight control mice administered saline i.p. were extracted and underwent DTI scans on a 9.4 Tesla scanner. A whole brain analysis detected fractional anisotropy (FA) reductions in several areas including insular and endopiriform regions, as well as within the dorsal striatum. These findings suggest that exposure to Tat protein is sufficient to induce FA abnormalities, and further support the use of the GT-tg mouse to model some effects of HIV.

Keywords: Diffusion tensor imaging, fractional anisotropy, GT-tg mouse, HIV, Tat.

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Article Details

Year: 2015
Page: [3 - 9]
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.2174/1570162X13666150126125244

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