, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 154-170
Date: 28 Nov 2006

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Neuropathogenesis: From Cats to Calcium

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Abstract

Invasion of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) into the central and peripheral nervous system produces a wide range of neurological symptoms, which continue to persist even with adequate therapeutic suppression of the systemic viremia. The development of therapies designed to prevent the neurological complications of HIV require a detailed understanding of the mechanisms of virus penetration into the nervous system, infection, and subsequent neuropathogenesis. These processes, however, are difficult to study in humans. The identification of animal lentiviruses similar to HIV has provided useful models of HIV infection that have greatly facilitated these efforts. This review summarizes contributions made from in vitro and in vivo studies on the infectious and pathological interactions of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) with the nervous system. In vivo studies on FIV have provided insights into the natural progression of CNS disease as well as the contribution of various risk factors. In vitro studies have contributed to our understanding of immune cell trafficking, CNS infection and neuropathogenesis. Together, these studies have made unique contributions to our understanding of (1) lentiviral interactions at the blood–cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) barrier within the choroid plexus, (2) early FIV invasion and pathogenesis in the brain, and (3) lentiviral effects on intracellular calcium deregulation and neuronal dysfunction. The ability to combine in vitro and in vivo studies on FIV offers enormous potential to explore neuropathogenic mechanisms and generate information necessary for the development of effective therapeutic interventions.