HIV life cycle, innate immunity and autophagy in the central nervous system

Kelly A. Meulendyke, Joshua D. Croteau, M. Christine Zink

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose of review In this era of modern combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) continue to affect a large portion of the infected population. In this review, we highlight recent discoveries that help to define the interplay between HIV life cycle, the innate immune system and cellular autophagy in the context of the central nervous system (CNS). Recent findings Investigators have recently elucidated themes in HAND, which place it in a unique framework. Cells of macrophage lineage and probably astrocytes play a role in disseminating virus through the CNS. Each of these cell types responds to a diverse population of constantly evolving virus existing in an inflammatory environment. This occurs though the failure of both host antiviral mechanisms, such as autophagy, and innate immunological signalling pathways to control viral replication. Summary The newest findings detailed in this review help define why HIV CNS disease is a difficult target for therapeutics and create hope that these new mechanisms may be exploited to attenuate viral replication and eliminate disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-571
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in HIV and AIDS
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2014 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.


  • Autophagy
  • Central nervous system
  • HIV
  • Innate immunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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