Increased human immunodeficiency virus (hiv) type 1 dnacontent and quinolinic acid concentration in brain tissues from patients with hiv encephalopathy

Shizuko Sei, Kuniaki Saito, Sean K. Stewart, Jeffrey S. Crowley, Pim Brouwers, David E. Kleiner, David A. Katz, Philip A. Pizzo, Melvyn P. Heyes

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Levels of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-l) DNA and quinolinic acid were examined in areas of the central nervous system (CNS) and lymphoid organs (LN) from 5 AIDS patients with no clinically apparent CNS compromise (group I), 7 with CNS opportunistic diseases (group II), and 8 with HIV encephalopathy (group III). The brains from patients with HIV encephalopathy not only contained higher levels of HIV-I DNA (cerebrum, P <.01; cerebellum, P <.05) as assessed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction but also showed a higher rate of viral pol region mutations suggestive of zidovudine or didanosine resistance than brains from patients in group I or II (P<.01). CNS quinolinic acid concentrations were significantly higher in group II and III patients than in group I (P =.03), even though quinolinic acid levelsin LN were comparable among the 3 groups. These data suggest that CNS inflammatory changes associated with HIV encephalopathy may be triggered by a local productive HIV-1 infection within the CNS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-647
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-1995
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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