Longitudinal assessment of fractional anisotropy alterations caused by simian immunodeficiency virus infection: a preliminary diffusion tensor imaging study
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Previous diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies found that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection led to white matter (WM) microstructure degeneration. Most of the DTI studies were cross-sectional and thus merely investigated only one specific point in the disease. In order to systematically study the WM impairments caused by HIV infection, more longitudinal studies are needed. However, longitudinal studies on HIV patients are very difficult to conduct. To address this question, we employed the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected rhesus monkeys model to carry out a longitudinal DTI study. We aimed to longitudinally access the WM abnormalities of SIV-infected rhesus monkeys by studying the fractional anisotropy (FA) alterations with Tract Based Spatial Statistic (TBSS) analysis. Four rhesus monkeys inoculated intravenously with SIVmac239 were utilized in the study. DTI scans and peripheral blood CD4+ and CD8+ T cell counts were acquired prior to virus inoculation (as the baseline) and in the 12th and 24th week postvirus inoculation. Significant FA alterations were found in the two areas of the inferotemporal regions (iTE), respectively located in the ventral subregion of posterior iTE (iTEpv) and the dorsal subregion of iTE (iTEpd). The decreased FA values in iTEpd were found significantly negatively correlated with the elevated peripheral blood CD4+/CD8+ ratios. It might suggest that WM in iTEpd was still impaired even though the immune dysfunction alleviated temporally.
KeywordsSimian immunodeficiency virus Longitudinal study Diffusion tensor imaging Fractional anisotropy Tract-based spatial statistic
This paper is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant No. 81501549, 81371635, 81571649, 81227901, 61231004, 81171314, and 81571634, the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program) under Grant 2011CB707700, the Key Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences under Grant No. KGZD-EW-T03, the Natural Science Foundation of Beijing under Grant No. 7132108, the Beijing Municipal Administration of Hospitals Clinical Medicine Development of Special Funding Support under Grant No. ZYLX201511, and the capital health research and development of special under Grant No. 2011-2018-01. The authors also would like to express their deep appreciation to all anonymous reviewers for their kind comments.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. The authors alone are responsible for the content and writing of the paper.
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