Author(s): Harrington PR, Schnell G, Letendre SL, Ritola K, Robertson K,
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: To characterize HIV-1 env compartmentalization between cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and peripheral blood plasma over all stages of the HIV-1 disease course, and to determine the relationship between the extent of CSF HIV-1 env compartmentalization and clinical neurologic disease status. DESIGN: Paired blood plasma and CSF specimens were collected from 66 HIV-infected patients cross-sectionally representing all major clinical stages relating to HIV-associated neurologic disease, including primary infection, asymptomatic chronic infection, chronic infection with minor global impairment, and immune deficiency with HIV-associated dementia. METHODS: Heteroduplex tracking assays and bulk sequence analysis targeting the V1/V2, C2-V3, and V4/V5 regions of env were performed to characterize the genetic makeup of complex HIV-1 populations in the cross-sectional blood plasma and CSF specimens. The levels of blood plasma/CSF env compartmentalization were quantified and compared across the different clinical stages of HIV-1 neurologic disease. RESULTS: Blood plasma/CSF env compartmentalization levels varied considerably by disease stage and were generally consistent across all three regions of env characterized. Little or no compartmentalization was observed in non-impaired individuals with primary HIV-1 infection. Compartmentalization levels were elevated in chronically infected patients, but were not significantly different between mildly impaired and non-impaired patients. Patients with HIV-associated dementia showed significantly greater blood plasma/CSF env compartmentalization relative to other groups. CONCLUSION: : Increased CSF compartmentalization of the HIV-1 env gene, which may reflect independent HIV-1 replication and evolution within the central nervous system, is specifically associated with HIV-associated dementia and not the less severe forms of HIV-1 neurologic disease.
This article was published in AIDS
and referenced in Journal of Neuroinfectious Diseases