Mankowski, J.L., Queen, S.E., Tarwater, P.M., Fox, K.J. and Perry, V.H.
Accumulation of beta-amyloid precursor protein in axons correlates with CNS expression of SIV gp41
Journal of Neuropathology & Experimental Neurology, 61, (1), . (PMID:11829347).
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Axonal damage represented by accumulation of [beta]-amyloid precursor protein ([beta]-APP) develops in numerous central nervous system (CNS) diseases including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. To study the underlying mechanisms of axonal damage associated with HIV CNS infection, the amount of axonal [beta]-APP immunostaining in the corpus callosum of 24 simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected macaques and 3 control macaques was measured by computerized image analysis. The amounts of [beta]-APP accumulation were then compared with time post-inoculation, extent and character of CNS inflammation, and viral load in the CNS measured by the amount of immunohistochemical staining for the viral transmembrane protein gp41. Significant increases over control values were present in 10 of 24 SIV-infected animals. SIV encephalitis was present in 9 of the 10 animals with elevated [beta]-APP. Increases in [beta]-APP correlated most strongly with levels of SIV gp41 in the brain (p = 0.005), but significant associations with macrophage infiltration and microglial activation (p = 0.04) and infiltration by cytotoxic lymphocytes (p = 0.05) also were identified. These data demonstrate that [beta]-APP accumulation in the white matter of SIV-infected macaques develops during SIV infection in close correlation with levels of viral replication and may serve as a sensitive marker of neuronal/axonal damage mediated by viral proteins.
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