Increased density of neurons containing NADPH diaphorase and nitric oxide synthase in the cerebral cortex of patients with HIV-1 infection and drug abuse

Rodrigo O. Kuljis, Paul Shapshak, Philip Alcabes, Pura Rodríguez de la Vega, Robert Fujimura, Carol K. Petito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

To determine whether nitrogen monoxide (nitric oxide; NO) synthase (NOS) and NADPH diaphorase (NDP) co-containing cerebrocortical neurons (NOSN) neurons are affected in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) with and without associated intake of drugs of abuse, we examined the temporal neocortex of 24 individuals: 12 HIV-1 positive (including 3 drug users, 9 non-drug users) and 12 HIV-1 negative (including 6 drug users, and 6 non-drug users). Histochemical labeling for NDP-an enzymatic domain co-expressed in the NOS enzyme-was employed to visualize NOSN. Drug abuse and HIV-1 infection cause independently an increase in NOSN density, but combined they result in up to a 38-fold increase in NOSN density, suggesting that the combination of these factors induces NOS expression powerfully in neurons that normally do not synthesize NDP/NOS. This is associated with an increase in the proportion of NOSN displaying dystrophic changes, indicating that NOSN undergo massive degeneration in association with NOS synthesis induction. The increase in density of NOSN in HIV-1 infected drug abusers may be among the important sources of NO mediating cerebrocortical dysfunction, and the degeneration of NOS-containing local circuit neurons in patients with HIV-1 infection or drug abuse may underlie in part their neuropsychiatric manifestations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-36
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Neuro-AIDS
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002

Keywords

  • AIDS
  • Drug abuse
  • HIV-1
  • Local circuit neurons
  • NADPH diaphorase
  • Nitric oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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