Characterization of neuropathology in the HIV-1 transgenic rat at different ages

William C. Reid, Wael G. Ibrahim, Saejeong J. Kim, Frank Denaro, Rafael Casas, Dianne E. Lee, Dragan Maric, Dima A. Hammoud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The transgenic HIV-1 rat (Tg) is a commonly used neuroHIV model with documented neurologic/behavioral deficits. Using immunofluorescent staining of the Tg brain, we found astrocytic dysfunction/damage, as well as dopaminergic neuronal loss/dysfunction, both of which worsening significantly in the striatum with age. We saw mild microglial activation in young Tg brains, but this decreased with age. There were no differences in neurogenesis potential suggesting a neurodegenerative rather than a neurodevelopmental process. Gp120 CSF levels exceeded serum gp120 levels in some animals, suggesting local viral protein production in the brain. Further probing of the pathophysiology underlying astrocytic injury in this model is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-125
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
StatePublished - Mar 15 2016


  • Astrocytic loss
  • HIV-1 transgenic rat
  • Neuro-HIV
  • Neuropathology
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Viral proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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