Humanized mice: models for evaluating NeuroHIV and cure strategies

J Neurovirol. 2018 Apr;24(2):185-191. doi: 10.1007/s13365-017-0567-3. Epub 2017 Aug 22.


While the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic was initially characterized by a high prevalence of severe and widespread neurological pathologies, the development of better treatments to suppress viremia over years and even decades has mitigated many of the severe neurological pathologies previously observed. Despite effective treatment, mild neurocognitive impairment and premature cognitive aging are observed in HIV-infected individuals, suggesting a changing but ongoing role of HIV infection in the central nervous system (CNS). Although current therapies are effective in suppressing viremia, they are not curative and patients must remain on life-long treatment or risk recrudescence of virus. Important for the development and evaluation of a cure for HIV will be animal models that recapitulate critical aspects of infection in vivo. In the following, we seek to summarize some of the recent developments in humanized mouse models and their usefulness in modeling HIV infection of the CNS and HIV cure strategies.

Keywords: Antiretroviral therapy (ART); CNS; HIV/AIDS; Humanized mice; NeuroHIV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Dementia Complex / drug therapy*
  • AIDS Dementia Complex / physiopathology
  • AIDS Dementia Complex / virology
  • Animals
  • Anti-HIV Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Brain / virology
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / drug therapy*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / physiopathology
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / virology
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • HIV-1 / drug effects*
  • HIV-1 / pathogenicity
  • HIV-1 / physiology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / cytology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / immunology
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / cytology
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / immunology
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / transplantation
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Myeloid Cells / transplantation
  • Myeloid Cells / virology
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / transplantation
  • Thymus Gland / cytology
  • Thymus Gland / immunology
  • Thymus Gland / transplantation
  • Transplantation, Heterologous


  • Anti-HIV Agents