HIV-1 Coat Protein GP120 Induces Neuronal Injury to Cultured Dopamine Cells

  • Barbara A. Bennett
  • Daniel E. Rusyniak
  • Charlotte K. Hollingsworth
Part of the GWUMC Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Annual Spring Symposia book series (GWUN)


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 infection is commonly associated with neurological manifestations that can produce devastating cognitive and motor impairments.1–4 Concomitant with this are CNS disturbances which can include various organic mental disorders.5 These CNS disturbances may occur in the absence of opportunistic infections as well as in the absence of direct infection of neurons by HIV-1.4 In fact, HIV-1 has only been demonstrated in macrophage or microglial cells and not in neurons.6–9 Previous studies have shown that infection with HIV-1 results in neurotoxicity which can be elicited by viral particles, the most likely of which is the glycoprotein, gp120.10–12 This viral protein has been shown to produce neurotoxicity at very low concentrations (pM) in various neuronal culture systems10–19 as well as modify astrocyte function.20–22 The mechanism(s) by which gp 120 induces neurotoxicity are not understood, but there is evidence that NMDA receptors, Ca2+ channels, and nitric oxide (NO) are important mediators.11,13–15,18,19


Human Immunodeficiency Virus Nitric Oxide Synthetase Process Length Organic Mental Disorder Envelope Glycoprotein Gp120 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara A. Bennett
    • 1
  • Daniel E. Rusyniak
    • 1
  • Charlotte K. Hollingsworth
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology and PharmacologyBowman Gray School of MedicineWinston-SalemUSA

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