The HPA axis in HIV-1 infection

Mahendra Kumar, Adarsh M. Kumar, Drenna Waldrop, Michael H. Antoni, Neil Schneiderman, Carl Eisdorfer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Several lines of evidence suggest that neuroendocrine abnormalities in general and HPA axis activity in particular occur in both HIV-1 infection and individuals engaging in chronic drug use. For instance, our studies showing attenuated norepinephrine as well as ACTH and cortisol responses to a cold pressor challenge in asymptomatic HIV-1+ persons support such a concept. Furthermore, our data on investigations on mirror-star tracing and speech challenges also support the finding that neuroendocrine responses are compromised in HIV-1 infection. Although the mechanisms leading to adverse effects on HPA axis activity in HIV infection are not fully understood, several lines of evidence suggest that a number of mechanisms may be involved, including homologies in molecular structures of various mediators of neuroendocrine activity and HIV-related structures, HIV as a chronic stress model, and virus-induced toxic factors. This article reviews our recent findings in this area and also presents research hypotheses needed for testing and understanding the mechanisms involved in the development of neuroendocrine abnormalities in HIV-1-infected injection drug users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S89-S93
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2002


  • Catecholamines
  • HIV infection
  • HPA axis
  • Star-tracing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Immunology


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