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Aged Chinese-origin rhesus macaques infected with SIV develop marked viremia in absence of clinical disease, inflammation or cognitive impairment

By Stephanie J. Bissel, Kate Gurnsey, Hank P. Jedema, Nicholas F. Smith, Guoji Wang, Charles W. Bradberry and Clayton A. Wiley


Abstract Background Damage to the central nervous system during HIV infection can lead to variable neurobehavioral dysfunction termed HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). There is no clear consensus regarding the neuropathological or cellular basis of HAND. We sought to study the potential contribution of aging to the pathogenesis of HAND. Aged (range = 14.7–24.8 year) rhesus macaques of Chinese origin (RM-Ch) (n = 23) were trained to perform cognitive tasks. Macaques were then divided into four groups to assess the impact of SIVmac251 infection (n = 12) and combined antiretroviral therapy (CART) (5 infected; 5 mock-infected) on the execution of these tasks. Results Aged SIV-infected RM-Ch demonstrated significant plasma viremia and modest CSF viral loads but showed few clinical signs, no elevations of systemic temperature, and no changes in activity levels, platelet counts or weight. Concentrations of biomarkers of acute and chronic inflammation such as soluble CD14, CXCL10, IL-6 and TNF-α are known to be elevated following SIV infection of young adult macaques of several species, but concentrations of these biomarkers did not shift after SIV infection in aged RM-Ch and remained similar to mock-infected macaques. Neither acute nor chronic SIV infection or CART had a significant impact on accuracy, speed or percent completion in a sensorimotor test. Conclusions Viremia in the absence of a chronic elevated inflammatory response seen in some aged RM-Ch is reminiscent of SIV infection in natural disease resistant hosts. The absence of cognitive impairment during SIV infection in aged RM-Ch might be in part attributed to diminishment of some facets of the immunological response. Additional study encompassing species and age differences is necessary to substantiate this hypothesis

Topics: HIV, Simian immunodeficiency virus, HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder, Cognition, Aging, Rhesus macaque, Immunologic diseases. Allergy, RC581-607
Publisher: BMC
Year: 2018
DOI identifier: 10.1186/s12977-018-0400-y
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