Apolipoprotein E-dependent differences in innate immune responses of maturing human neuroepithelial progenitor cells exposed to HIV-1

Rebeca Geffin, Ricardo Martinez, Roberto Perez, Biju Issac, Micheline McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


HIV enters the brain early during infection and induces a chronic inflammatory state that can result in neurological abnormalities in a subset of infected individuals. To investigate the effects of HIV exposure on neurogenesis and neuronal survival in the brain, we have used a model system consisting of human neuroepithelial progenitor (NEP) cells that undergo directed differentiation into astrocytes and neurons in vitro. Changes in gene expression in NEP cultures as a result of HIV exposure were investigated using gene expression microarrays with the Illumina HT-12 V4-0-R1 platform array. Through this approach, we identified a group of genes specifically upregulated by exposure to virus that are strongly related to interferon induced responses and antigen presentation. When the data were stratified by their apolipoprotein genotype, this innate immune response was more robust in the apolipoprotein E3/E3 genotype cultures than in the apolipoprotein E3/E4 counterparts. Biological processes as defined by the gene ontology (GO) program were also differently affected upon virus exposure in cultures of the two genotypes, particularly those related to antigen presentation and the actions of interferons. Differences occurred in both in numbers of genes affected and their significance in the GO processes in which they participate, with apoE3/E3 > apoE3/E4. These data suggest that maturing NEP cultures recognize HIV and respond to it by mounting an innate immune response with a vigor that is influenced by the apolipoprotein E genotype of the cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1010-1026
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Apolipoprotein E
  • HIV
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Innate immune response
  • Neuron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)


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