Transcriptome analyses identify key cellular factors associated with HIV-1 associated neuropathogenesis in infected men

Narasimhan J. Venkatachari, Siddhartha Jain, Leah Walker, Shalmali Bivalkar-Mehla, Ansuman Chattopadhyay, Ziv Bar-Joseph, Charles Rinaldo, Ann Ragin, Eric Carl Seaberg, Andrew Levine, James Becker, Eileen Martin, Ned Sacktor, Velpandi Ayyavoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


OBJECTIVE:: HIV-1 viral proteins and host inflammatory factors have a direct role in neuronal toxicity in in vitro, however, the contribution of these factors in vivo in HIV-1 associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) is not fully understood. We applied novel Systems Biology approaches to identify specific cellular and viral factors and their related pathways that are associated with different stages of HAND. DESIGN:: A cross-sectional study of individuals enrolled in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) including HIV-1 seronegative (N?=?36) and HIV-1 seropositive individuals without neurocognitive symptoms (N?=?16), or with mild neurocognitive disorder (MND) (N?=?8) or HIV-associated dementia (HAD) (N?=?16). METHODS:: A systematic evaluation of global transcriptome of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) obtained from HIV-1 seronegative individuals and from HIV-1 positive men without neurocognitive symptoms, or MND or HAD was performed. RESULTS:: MND and HAD were associated with specific changes in mRNA transcripts and miRNAs in PBMCs. Comparison of upstream regulators and TimePath analyses identified specific cellular factors associated with MND and HAD, while HIV-1 viral proteins played a greater role in HAD. Additionally, expression of specific microRNAs – miR-let-7a, miR-124, miR-15a and others were found to correlate with mRNA gene expression and may have a potential protective role in asymptomatic HIV-1 seropositive individuals by regulating cellular signal transduction pathways downstream of chemokines and cytokines. CONCLUSIONS:: These results identify signature transcriptome changes in PBMCs associated with stages of HAND and shed light on the potential contribution of host cellular factors and viral proteins in HAND development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - Dec 21 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Venkatachari, N. J., Jain, S., Walker, L., Bivalkar-Mehla, S., Chattopadhyay, A., Bar-Joseph, Z., Rinaldo, C., Ragin, A., Seaberg, E. C., Levine, A., Becker, J., Martin, E., Sacktor, N., & Ayyavoo, V. (Accepted/In press). Transcriptome analyses identify key cellular factors associated with HIV-1 associated neuropathogenesis in infected men. AIDS.