Expression of Proinflammatory Cytokines and Its Relationship With Virus Infection in the Brain of Macaques Inoculated With Macrophage-Tropic Simian Immunodeficiency Virus

Neuropathology. 2009 Feb;29(1):13-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1789.2008.00929.x. Epub 2008 May 27.


The pathogenesis of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome dementia complex (ADC) is still poorly understood. Many studies suggest that proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-1beta and TNF-alpha released by microglia/macrophages or astrocytes play a role in CNS injury. A microscopic finding of a microglial nodule with multinucleated giant cells (MNGCs) is a histopathologic hallmark of ADC and named HIV encephalitis. However, in vivo expression of these cytokines in this microenvironment of HIV encephalitis is not yet clarified. One of the main reasons is complexities of brain pathology in patients who have died from terminal AIDS. In this study, we infected two macaques with macrophage-tropic Simian immunodeficiency virus SIV239env/MERT and examined expression of TNF-alpha and IL-1beta in inflammatory lesions with MNGCs and its relation to virus-infected cells using immunohistochemistry. One macaque showed typical inflammatory lesions with MNGCs in the frontal white matter. Small microglial nodules were also detected in the basal ganglia and the spinal cord. SIVenv positive cells were detected mainly in inflammatory lesions, and seemed to be microglia/macrophages and MNGCs based on their morphology. Expression of IL-1beta and TNF-alpha were detected in the inflammatory lesions with MNGCs, and these positive cells were found to be negative for SIVenv by double-labeling immunohistochemistry or immunohistochemistry of serial sections. There were a few TNF-alpha positive cells and almost no IL-1beta positive cells in the area other than inflammatory lesions. Another macaque showed scattered CD3+ cells and CD68+ cells in the perivascular regions of the white matter. SIVenv and TNF-alpha was demonstrated in a few perivascular macrophages. These findings indicate that virus-infected microglia/macrophages do not always express IL-1beta and TNF-alpha, which suggests an indirect role of HIV-1-infected cells in cytokine-mediated pathogenesis of ADC. Our macaque model for human ADC may be useful for better understanding of its pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • Basal Ganglia / metabolism
  • Basal Ganglia / pathology
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain / virology
  • CD3 Complex / metabolism
  • Encephalitis, Viral / metabolism
  • Encephalitis, Viral / pathology*
  • Encephalitis, Viral / virology
  • Giant Cells / pathology*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Interleukin-1beta / metabolism*
  • Lymph Nodes / metabolism
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Macrophages / pathology
  • Macrophages / virology
  • Microglia / metabolism
  • Microglia / pathology
  • Microglia / virology
  • RNA, Viral / metabolism
  • Simian Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / metabolism
  • Simian Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / pathology*
  • Simian Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / virology
  • Simian Immunodeficiency Virus*
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism
  • Spinal Cord / pathology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism*
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / metabolism


  • Antigens, CD
  • CD3 Complex
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • RNA, Viral
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Viral Envelope Proteins