Journal of NeuroVirology

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 111–122

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and the blood-brain barrier

  • Nathan S. Ivey
  • Andrew G. MacLean
  • Andrew A. Lackner

DOI: 10.1080/13550280902769764

Cite this article as:
Ivey, N.S., MacLean, A.G. & Lackner, A.A. Journal of NeuroVirology (2009) 15: 111. doi:10.1080/13550280902769764


The blood-brain barrier (BBB) plays a critical role in normal physiology of the central nervous system by regulating what reaches the brain from the periphery. The BBB also plays a major role in neurologic disease including neuropathologic sequelae associated with infection by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in humans and the closely related simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) in macaques. In this review, we provide an overview of the function, structure, and components of the BBB, followed by a more detailed discussion of the subcellular structures and regulation of the tight junction. We then discuss the ways in which HIV/SIV affects the BBB, largely through infection of monocytes/macrophages, and how infected macrophages crossing the BBB ultimately results in breakdown of the barrier.



Copyright information

© Journal of NeuroVirology, Inc. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nathan S. Ivey
  • Andrew G. MacLean
  • Andrew A. Lackner
    • 1
  1. 1.Tulane National Primate Research CenterCovingtonUSA