Mechanisms of HIV Neuropathogenesis: Role of Cellular Communication Systems

Author(s): Shaily Malik, Eliseo A. Eugenin

Journal Name: Current HIV Research
HIV and Viral Immune Diseases

Volume 14 , Issue 5 , 2016

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Graphical Abstract:


Background: One of the major complications of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection is the development of HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HANDs) in approximately 50-60% of HIV infected individuals. Despite undetectable viral loads in the periphery owing to anti-retroviral therapy, neuroinflammation and neurocognitive impairment are still prevalent in HIV infected individuals. Several studies indicate that the central nervous system (CNS) abnormalities observed in HIV infected individuals are not a direct effect of viral replication in the CNS, rather these neurological abnormalities are associated with amplification of HIV specific signals by unknown mechanisms. We propose that some of these mechanisms of damage amplification are mediated by gap junction channels, pannexin and connexin hemichannels, tunneling nanotubes and microvesicles/exosomes.

Objective: Our laboratory and others have demonstrated that HIV infection targets cell to cell communication by altering all these communication systems resulting in enhanced bystander apoptosis of uninfected cells, inflammation and viral infection. Here we discuss the role of these communication systems in HIV neuropathogenesis.

Conclusion: In the current manuscript, we have described the mechanisms by which HIV “hijacks” these host cellular communication systems, leading to exacerbation of HIV neuropathogenesis, and to simultaneously promote the survival of HIV infected cells, resulting in the establishment of viral reservoirs.

Keywords: HIV, gap junctions, connexin, tunneling nanotubes, exosomes.

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Article Details

Year: 2016
Published on: 24 March, 2016
Page: [400 - 411]
Pages: 12
DOI: 10.2174/1570162X14666160324124558
Price: $65

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