Published in Volume
87, Issue 2
(February 1991)J Clin Invest.
1991, The American Society for
Human immunodeficiency virus-infected macrophages produce soluble factors that cause histological and neurochemical alterations in cultured human brains.
Department of Laboratory Medicine, San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center, California 94121.
Published February 1991
We wanted to establish an in vitro human model for AIDS-associated dementia and pursue the hypothesis that this disease process may be a result of soluble factors produced by HIV-infected macrophages. Human brain aggregates were prepared from nine different brain specimens, and were treated with supernatants from in vitro HIV-infected macrophages (SI), uninfected macrophages (SU), infected T cells, or macrophage-conditioned media from four AIDS patients. Seven of nine treated brains exposed to SI showed peripheral rarefaction after 1 wk of incubation that by ultrastructural analysis showed cytoplasmic vacuolation. Aggregates from two of three brain cultures treated with SI for 3 wk became smaller, an approximately 50% decrease in size. The degree of apparent toxicity in brains exposed to patient-derived macrophage supernatants paralleled the proportion of macrophages found to be expressing HIV p24. Ultrastructural abnormalities were not observed in brains treated with supernatants from HIV-infected T cells, uninfected macrophages, or LPS-activated macrophages. Levels of five neurotransmitter amino acids were decreased in comparison to the structural amino acid leucine. These findings suggest that HIV-infected macrophages, infected both in vitro as well as derived from AIDS patients' peripheral blood, produce factors that cause reproducible histochemical, ultrastructural, and functional abnormalities in human brain aggregates.
Click on an image below to see the page. View
PDF of the complete article