Abstract: The broad range of histological lesions associated with HIV-1 are somewhat subtle relative to the clinical manifestations that occur as a result of HIV infection. Although it is clear that HIV has a causative role in CNS disease, dementia appears to be a consequence of the infiltration of inflammatory cells and cytokine dysregulation rather than the amount of virus in CNS. The HIV transregulatory protein Tat plays an important intracellular as well as extracellular role in the dysregulation of cytokines. The cytokines and possibly chemokines that are induced by Tat modify the action of astrocytes such that the survival of neurons is compromised. Pathogenetic alteration induced by Tat involves a series of interactions between circulatin
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