Cerebrospinal fluid HIV infection and pleocytosis: Relation to systemic infection and antiretroviral treatment

Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, USA.
BMC Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 2.61). 11/2005; 5(1):98. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2334-5-98
Source: PubMed


Central nervous system (CNS) exposure to HIV is a universal facet of systemic infection. Because of its proximity to and shared barriers with the brain, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) provides a useful window into and model of human CNS HIV infection.
Prospective study of the relationships of CSF to plasma HIV RNA, and the effects of: 1) progression of systemic infection, 2) CSF white blood cell (WBC) count, 3) antiretroviral therapy (ART), and 4) neurological performance. One hundred HIV-infected subjects were cross-sectionally studied, and 28 were followed longitudinally after initiating or changing ART.
In cross-sectional analysis, HIV RNA levels were lower in CSF than plasma (median difference 1.30 log10 copies/mL). CSF HIV viral loads (VLs) correlated strongly with plasma VLs and CSF WBC counts. Higher CSF WBC counts associated with smaller differences between plasma and CSF HIV VL. CSF VL did not correlate with blood CD4 count, but CD4 counts <50 cells/microL associated with a low prevalence of CSF pleocytosis and large differences between plasma and CSF VL. CSF HIV RNA correlated neither with the severity of the AIDS dementia complex (ADC) nor abnormal quantitative neurological performance, although these measures were associated with depression of CD4 counts. In subjects starting ART, those with lower CD4 counts had slower initial viral decay in CSF than in plasma. In all subjects, including five with persistent plasma viremia and four with new-onset ADC, CSF HIV eventually approached or reached the limit of viral detection and CSF pleocytosis resolved.
CSF HIV infection is common across the spectrum of infection and is directly related to CSF pleocytosis, though whether the latter is a response to or a contributing cause of CSF infection remains uncertain. Slowing in the rate of CSF response to ART compared to plasma as CD4 counts decline indicates a changing character of CSF infection with systemic immunological progression. Longer-term responses indicate that CSF infection generally responds well to ART, even in the face of systemic virological failure due to drug resistance. We present simple models to explain the differing relationships of CSF to plasma HIV in these settings.

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Available from: Ellen E Paxinos, Jul 13, 2014
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    • "While not true for all individuals, it is often observed that measured HIV-1 RNA levels in the CSF are anywhere from 1-2 log10 lower than those measured in contemporaneous plasma [72,73]. In an attempt to determine if the differences observed in genetic diversity (APD) of the paired CSF and plasma compartments in the group was simply a refection of differences in HIV-1 RNA levels (VL) within the compartments, linear regression analysis comparing the ratio of each individuals’ plasma to CSF APD to the log of the ratio of the plasma to CSF VL was performed. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background The widespread use of highly effective, combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) has led to a significant reduction in the incidence of HIV-associated dementia (HAD). Despite these advances, the prevalence of HIV-1 associated neurocognitive disorders (HANDs) has been estimated at approximately 40%-50%. In the cART era, the majority of this disease burden is represented by asymptomatic neurocognitive impairment and mild neurocognitive disorder (ANI and MND respectively). Although less severe than HAD, these diagnoses carry with them substantial morbidity.ResultsIn this cross-sectional study, single genome amplification (SGA) was used to sequence 717 full-length HIV-1 envelope (env) clade B variants from the paired cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood plasma samples of fifteen chronically infected HIV-positive individuals with normal neurocognitive performance (NCN), ANI and MND. Various degrees of compartmentalization were found across disease states and history of cART utilization. In individuals with compartmentalized virus, mean HIV-1 env population diversity was lower in the CSF than plasma-derived variants. Overall, mean V1V2 loop length was shorter in CSF-derived quasispecies when compared to contemporaneous plasma populations, and this was found to correlate with a lower mean number of N-linked glycosylation sites in this region. A number of discrete amino acid positions that correlate strongly with compartmentalization in the CSF were identified in both variable and constant regions of gp120 as well as in gp41. Correlated mutation analyses further identified that a subset of amino acid residues in these compartmentalization ¿hot spot¿ positions were strongly correlated with one another, suggesting they may play an important, definable role in the adaptation of viral variants to the CSF. Analysis of these hot spots in the context of a well-supported crystal structure of HIV-1 gp120 suggests mechanisms through which amino acid differences at the identified residues might contribute to viral compartmentalization in the CSF.Conclusions The detailed analyses of SGA-derived full length HIV-1 env from subjects with both normal neurocognitive performance and the most common HAND diagnoses in the cART era allow us to identify novel and confirm previously described HIV-1 env genetic determinants of neuroadaptation and relate potential motifs to HIV-1 env structure and function.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Retrovirology
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    • "Analysis of one or a few novel biomarkers using multiplex assays is relatively straightforward at this exploratory level because of the circumscribed number of variables examined. This type of cross-sectional design can be supplemented by longitudinal studies to define the natural history and progression or response to therapy of individual subjects (Spudich et al. 2005b). "
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    ABSTRACT: Central nervous system (CNS) infection is a nearly universal facet of systemic HIV infection that varies in character and neurological consequences. While clinical staging and neuropsychological test performance have been helpful in evaluating patients, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers present a valuable and objective approach to more accurate diagnosis, assessment of treatment effects and understanding of evolving pathobiology. We review some lessons from our recent experience with CSF biomarker studies. We have used two approaches to biomarker analysis: targeted, hypothesis-driven and non-targeted exploratory discovery methods. We illustrate the first with data from a cross-sectional study of defined subject groups across the spectrum of systemic and CNS disease progression and the second with a longitudinal study of the CSF proteome in subjects initiating antiretroviral treatment. Both approaches can be useful and, indeed, complementary. The first is helpful in assessing known or hypothesized biomarkers while the second can identify novel biomarkers and point to broad interactions in pathogenesis. Common to both is the need for well-defined samples and subjects that span a spectrum of biological activity and biomarker concentrations. Previously-defined guide biomarkers of CNS infection, inflammation and neural injury are useful in categorizing samples for analysis and providing critical biological context for biomarker discovery studies. CSF biomarkers represent an underutilized but valuable approach to understanding the interactions of HIV and the CNS and to more objective diagnosis and assessment of disease activity. Both hypothesis-based and discovery methods can be useful in advancing the definition and use of these biomarkers.
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    • "Here, we compare test scores pre-and postseroconversion (SC) to examine whether there are acute neuropsychological effects soon after seroconversion. Whether neuropsychological changes specifically attributable to the virus occur in early stages of HIV infection has not been definitely determined (Marcotte et al. 2003; McArthur et al. 1989; Miller et al. 1990; Selnes et al. 1990; Spudich et al. 2011, 2005). Although it is known that HIV-1 may enter the brain early after seroconversion, the effects of early infection on cognitive functioning are still not entirely clear (Spudich et al. 2011; Spudich et al. 2005). "
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