Intracerebral cytokine messenger RNA expression in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome dementia

Ann Neurol. 1993 Jun;33(6):576-82. doi: 10.1002/ana.410330604.


The pathogenesis of the dementia associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is unclear, but has been postulated to be due to indirect effects of HIV infection including the local production of cytokines. To determine which cytokines are produced in the nervous system and to identify any correlations with dementia, cytokine and HIV messenger RNA expression was analyzed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction in the brains from 24 HIV-infected patients with and without dementia and 9 HIV-uninfected control subjects. Levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha messenger RNA were significantly higher and levels of interleukin (IL)-4 messenger RNA were significantly lower in demented compared to nondemented HIV-infected patients. Demented patients also had lower IL-1 beta levels than did nondemented patients. No significant differences were detected in the amounts of leukemia inhibitory factor, IL-6, transforming growth factor-beta 1 and -beta 2, monokine induced by gamma interferon-2 (MIG-2), or interferon-gamma messenger RNAs. IL-10 and IL-2 messenger RNAs were undetectable in all brains examined. Cytokine messenger RNA levels in nondemented HIV-positive patients were similar to those in HIV-negative control subjects. HIV transcripts were more abundant in subcortical white matter than in the basal ganglia, cortex, or deep white matter. Our findings suggest a possible role for tumor necrosis factor-alpha in the development of neurological dysfunction. Increased levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha messenger RNA were not associated with increased levels of IL-1 beta messenger RNA, suggesting differential regulation of these monokines in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome dementia.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Dementia Complex / immunology
  • AIDS Dementia Complex / metabolism*
  • Adult
  • Base Sequence
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • CD4 Antigens / analysis
  • Cytokines / genetics*
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA / isolation & purification
  • Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenases / genetics
  • HIV Seropositivity / immunology
  • HIV Seropositivity / metabolism*
  • HIV* / genetics
  • HIV* / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • Organ Specificity
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Reference Values
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology


  • CD4 Antigens
  • Cytokines
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • RNA, Messenger
  • DNA
  • Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenases