Hippocampal injury and alterations in neuronal chemokine co-receptor expression in patients with AIDS

Carol K. Petito, Brenda Roberts, John D. Cantando, Alejandro Rabinstein, Robert Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Hippocampal neurons express high levels of HIV chemokine co-receptors, activation of which causes injury or death in vitro. To determine if their in vivo expression correlates with injury, we evaluated neuronal CXCR4 and CCR5 immunoreactivity and reactive gliosis in autopsy hippocampus of 10 control cases, 11 AIDS cases without HIV encephalitis (HIVnE) or opportunistic infections/lymphomas (OI/L), and 11 AIDS cases with HIV encephalitis (HIVE). All groups had higher CXCR4 and CCR5 expression in CA3 and CA4 neurons than CAI neurons (p < 0.05). HIVE cases had increased neuronal CXCR4 and decreased neuronal CCR5 expression as well as increased numbers of hippocampal GFAP-positive astrocytes and LN3-positive microglia. Changes were most severe in CA3 and CA4 and lowest in CA1 regions. These findings also were noted in the 4 HIVE cases with neither hippocampal HIVE nor brain OI/L and in the HIVnE groups. This study quantitates the regional distribution of hippocampal neuronal CXCR4 and CCR5 and shows their respective increase and decrease in AIDS. It suggests a relationship between neuronal loss and gliosis with intensity of neuronal chemokine expression and raises the possibility of a selective vulnerability of hippocampal neurons to AIDS-related injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-385
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • AIDS
  • Astrocytes
  • Chemokine co-receptor
  • Dementia
  • HIV
  • Hippocampus
  • Microglia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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