Detection of AIDS virus in macrophages in brain tissue from AIDS patients with encephalopathy

Scott Koenig, Howard E. Gendelman, Jan M. Orenstein, Mauro C. Dal Canto, Gholam H. Pezeshkpour, Margaret Yungbluth, Frank Janotta, Allen Aksamit, Malcolm A. Martin, Anthony S. Fauci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1315 Scopus citations


One of the common neurological complications in patients with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a subacute encephalopathy with progressive dementia. By using the techniques of cocultivation for virus isolation, in situ hybridization, immunocytochemistry, and transmission electron microscopy, the identity of an important cell type that supports replication of the AIDS retrovirus in brain tissue was determined in two affected individuals. These cells were mononucleated and multinucleated macrophages that actively synthesized viral RNA and produced progeny virions in the brains of the patients. Infected brain macrophages may serve as a reservoir for virus and as a vehicle for viral dissemination in the infected host.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1089-1093
Number of pages5
Issue number4768
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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