Journal of NeuroVirology

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 131–138 | Cite as

Increased frequency of α-synuclein in the substantia nigra in human immunodeficiency virus infection

  • Negar Khanlou
  • David J. Moore
  • Gursharan Chana
  • Mariana Cherner
  • Deborah Lazzaretto
  • Sharron Dawes
  • Igor Grant
  • Eliezer Masliah
  • Ian P. Everall
  • the HNRC Group
Article

Abstract

The frequency of neurodegenerative markers among long surviving human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals is unknown, therefore, the present study investigated the frequency of α-synuclein, β-amyloid, and HIV-associated brain pathology in the brains of older HIV-infected individuals. We examined the substantia nigra of 73 clinically well-characterized HIV-infected individuals aged 50 to 76 years from the National NeuroAIDS Tissue Consortium. We also examined the frontal and temporal cortical regions of a subset of 36 individuals. Neuritic α-synuclein expression was found in 16% (12/73) of the substantia nigra of the HIV+cases and none of the older control cases (0/18). β-Amyloid deposits were prevalent and found in nearly all of the HIV+ cases (35/36). Despite these increases of degenerative pathology, HIV-associated brain pathology was present in only 10% of cases. Among older HIV+adults, HIV-associated brain pathology does not appear elevated; however, the frequency of both α-synuclein and β-amyloid is higher than that found in older healthy persons. The increased prevalence of α-synuclein and β-amyloid in the brains of older HIV-infected individuals may predict an increased risk of developing neurodegenerative disease.

Keywords

aging brain pathology cognition HIV substantia nigra 

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Copyright information

© Journal of NeuroVirology, Inc. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Negar Khanlou
    • 1
  • David J. Moore
    • 2
  • Gursharan Chana
    • 2
  • Mariana Cherner
    • 2
  • Deborah Lazzaretto
    • 5
  • Sharron Dawes
    • 2
  • Igor Grant
    • 2
  • Eliezer Masliah
    • 3
    • 4
  • Ian P. Everall
    • 2
  • the HNRC Group
  1. 1.Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Division of Neuropathology, David Geffen School of MedicineRonald Reagan UCLA Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeuroscienceUniversity of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA
  4. 4.Department of PathologyUniversity of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA
  5. 5.Department of HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center (HNRC)University of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA

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