Neurovirulence depends on virus input titer in brain in feline immunodeficiency virus infection: evidence for activation of innate immunity and neuronal injury.
ABSTRACT Lentiruses cause neurological disease depending on the virus strain and its neurotropism, yet it remains uncertain to what the impact of infectious virus quantity in the brain early in infection is on the subsequent development of neurological disease or neurovirulence. We investigated the relationship between infectious virus input titer and the resulting neurovirulence, using ex vivo and in vivo assays of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)-induced neurovirulence. FIV infection of cell cultures and neonatal cats was performed using 10(2.5) (low-titer) or 10(4.5) (high-titer) 50% tissue culture infectious doses (TCID(50))/ml of the neurovirulent FIV strain, V1CSF. Ex vivo neurotoxicity assays revealed that conditioned medium (CM) from feline macrophages infected with high-titer (P <.001) or low-titer (P <.01) V1CSF induced greater neuronal death than CM from mock-infected cells. In vivo, animals infected intracranially with high-titer V1CSF showed neurodevelopmental delays compared to mock-infected animals (P <.001) and animals infected with low-titer V1CSF (P <.02), concurrent with reduced weight gains and greater depletion of CD4+ cells over a 12-week period. Neuropathological changes, including astrogliosis, macrophage activation, and neuronal damage, were evident in V1CSF-infected animals and were viral titer dependent. In vivo magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy and proton nuclear magnetic resonance ((1)H-NMR) spectroscopy of tissue extracts revealed evidence of neuronal injury, including reduced N-acetyl aspartate/creatine (P <.05) and increased trimethylamine/creatine (P <.05) ratios, in the frontal cortex of high-titer V1CSF-infected animals compared to the other groups. T2-weighted MR imaging detected increased signal intensities in the frontal cortex and white matter of V1CSF-infected animals relative to controls, which was more evident as viral titer increased (P <.01). The present findings indicate that lentivirus infectious titers in the brain during the early stages of infection determine the severity of neurovirulence, reflected by neurobehavioral deficits, together with neuroradiological and neuropathological findings of activation of innate immunity and neuronal injury.
Article: Lentivirus infection causes neuroinflammation and neuronal injury in dorsal root ganglia: pathogenic effects of STAT-1 and inducible nitric oxide synthase.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Distal sensory polyneuropathy (DSP) is currently the most common neurological complication of HIV infection in the developed world and is characterized by sensory neuronal injury accompanied by inflammation, which is clinically manifested as disabling pain and gait instability. We previously showed that feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) infection of cats caused DSP together with immunosuppression in cats, similar to that observed in HIV-infected humans. In this study, we investigated the pathogenic mechanisms underlying the development of FIV-induced DSP using feline dorsal root ganglia (DRG) cultures, consisting of neurons, Schwann cells, and macrophages. FIV-infected cultures exhibited viral Ags (p24 and envelope) in macrophages accompanied by neuronal injury, indicated by neurite retraction, neuronal loss and decreased soma size, compared with mock-infected (control) cultures. FIV infection up-regulated inducible NO synthase (iNOS), STAT-1, and TNF-alpha mRNA levels in DRG cultures. Increased STAT-1 and iNOS mRNA levels were also observed in DRGs from FIV-infected animals relative to mock-infected controls. Similarly, immunolabeling studies of DRGs from FIV-infected animals showed that macrophages were the principal sources of STAT-1 and iNOS protein production. The iNOS inhibitor aminoguanidine reduced nitrotyrosine and protein carbonyl levels, together with preventing neuronal injury in FIV-infected DRG cultures. The present studies indicate that FIV infection of DRGs directly contributes to axonal and neuronal injury through a mechanism involving macrophage immune activation, which is mediated by STAT-1 and iNOS activation.The Journal of Immunology 08/2005; 175(2):1118-26. · 5.79 Impact Factor