Journal of NeuroVirology

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 318–326 | Cite as

Monocyte/macrophage trafficking in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome encephalitis: Lessons from human and nonhuman primate studies

  • Tracy Fischer-Smith
  • Christie Bell
  • Sidney Croul
  • Mark Lewis
  • Jay Rappaport


Here the authors discuss evidence in human and animal models supporting two opposing views regarding the pathogenesis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the central nervous system (CNS): (1) HIV infection in the CNS is a compartmentalized infection, with the virus-infected macrophages entering the CNS early, infecting resident microglia and astrocytes, and achieving a state of latency with evolution toward a fulminant CNS infection late in the course of disease; or alternatively, (2) events in the periphery lead to altered monocyte/macrophage (MΦ) homeostasis, with increased CNS invasion of infected and/or uninfected MΦs. Here the authors have reevaluated evidence presented in the favor of the latter model, with a discussion of phenotypic characteristics distinguishing normal resident microglia with those accumulating in HIV encephalitis (HIVE). CD163 is normally expressed by perivascular MΦs but not resident microglia in normal CNS of humans and rhesus macaques. In agreement with other studies, the authors demonstrate expression of CD163 by brain MΦs in HIVE and simian immunodeficiency virus encephalitis (SIVE). CNS tissues from HIV-sero positive individuals with HIVE or HIV-associated progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) were also examined. In HIVE, the authors further demonstrate colocalization of CD163 and CD16 (FcγIII recptor) gene expression, the latter marker associated with HIV infection of monocyte in vivo and permissivity of infection. Indeed, CD163+ MΦs and microglia are often productively infected in HIVE CNS. In SIV infected rhesus macaques, CD163+ cells accumulate perivascularly, within nodular lesions and the parenchyma in animals with encephalitis. Likewise, parenchymal microglia and perivascular MΦs are CD163+ in HIVE. In contrast to HIVE, CD163+ perivascular and parenchymal MΦs in HIV-associated PML were only associated with areas of demyelinating lesions. Interestingly, SIV-infected rhesus macaques whose viral burden was predominantly at 1 × 106 copies/ml or greater developed encephalitis. To further investigate the relationship between CD163+/CD16+ MΦs/microglia in the CNS and altered homeostasis in the periphery, the authors performed flow-cytometric analyses of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from SIV-infected rhesus macaques. The results demonstrate an increase in the percent frequency of CD163+/CD16+ monocytes in animals with detectable virus that correlated significantly with increased viral burden and CD4+ T-cell decline. These results suggest the importance of this monocyte subset in HIV/SIV CNS disease, and also in the immune pathogenesis of lentiviral infection. The authors further discuss the potential role of CD163+/CD16+ monocyte/MΦ subset expansion, altered myeloid homeostasis, and potential consequences for immune polarization and suppression. The results and discussion here suggest new avenues for the development of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) therapeutics and vaccine design.


CD163 CD16 HIVE macrophage monocyte SIVE 


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Copyright information

© Journal of NeuroVirology, Inc. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tracy Fischer-Smith
    • 1
  • Christie Bell
    • 1
  • Sidney Croul
    • 1
  • Mark Lewis
    • 2
  • Jay Rappaport
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Neurovirology, Department of NeuroscienceTemple University School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.BIOQUALRockvilleUSA

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