Immunopathogenesis of HIV Encephalitis
Article first published online: 28 JAN 2008
Volume 1, Issue 3, pages 177–184, April 1991
How to Cite
Achim, C. L., Schrier, R. D. and Wiley, C. A. (1991), Immunopathogenesis of HIV Encephalitis. Brain Pathology, 1: 177–184. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3639.1991.tb00657.x
- Issue published online: 28 JAN 2008
- Article first published online: 28 JAN 2008
HIV infection leads to severe immunosuppression and in a sub-population of patients, encephalitis. Whether systemic immunosuppression is required for CNS infection is still unclear. However, latent infection of monocytes/macrophages is an important mechanism by which HIV escapes immune surveillance and enters the CNS. Unlike other viral encephalitides, HIV predominantly infects macrophages/microglia and not neurons and glia. These cells produce retroviral proteins and cytokines which may be neurotoxic. Despite significant MHC expression within the CNS, there is a limited infiltration of immune cells, possibly due to a defect in systemic immunity. Anti-retroviral therapy by decreasing viral replication and reversing immunosuppression, may arrest nervous system damage.