Simian immunodeficiency virus encephalitis in the white matter and degeneration of the cerebral cortex occur independently in simian immunodeficiency virus-infected monkey
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- Xing, H.Q., Moritoyo, T., Mori, K. et al. Journal of NeuroVirology (2003) 9: 508. doi:10.1080/13550280390218904
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Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has been successful to reduce progression of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Nevertheless, recent autopsy analysis of the brain from patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 infection reported same or even increasing numbers of AIDS encephalopathy. This insufficient effect of HAART for central nervous system (CNS) complication might be explained by independent pathogenetic processes in lymph node and CNS. We inoculated macaques with three Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) strains and investigated relationship between degree of the lymph node pathology and that of AIDS-related brain pathology. Animals infected with T-cell-tropic viruses SIVmac239 and SHIV-RT developed typical AIDS pathology in the lymph node 46 to 156 weeks after infection. The cerebral cortex of these animals showed focal or diffuse gliosis, and electron microscopic analysis demonstrated degenerative changes, such as accumulation of dense lamellar bodies in the dendrites and swelling of astrocytic processes. However, there was no evidence of microglial nodules or multinucleated giant cells in the white mater. The animals infected with macrophage-tropic SIV239env/MERT did not develop lymph node pathology of AIDS in the same or longer period of infection. The white mater of the animal, however, showed microglial nodules with multinucleated giant cells, a pathological hallmark of AIDS encephalopathy. SIV immunoreactivity was demonstrated in these giant cells as well as macrophage/microglia cells. On the other hand, there was no abnormality in the cerebral cortex. These findings suggest that there are two independent pathogenetic processes in AIDS encephalopathy: immune response against virus infected macrophage/microglial cells in the white mater without immunodeficiency and cortical degeneration caused in the late stage of AIDS.