Mechanisms of the blood-brain barrier disruption in HIV-1 infection

Michal Toborek, Yong Woo Lee, Govinder Flora, Hong Pu, Ibolya E. András, Edward Wylegala, Bernhard Hennig, Avindra Nath

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

188 Scopus citations


1. Alterations of brain microvasculature and the disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) integrity are commonly associated with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection. These changes are most frequently found in human immunodeficiency virus-related encephalitis (HIVE) and in human immunodeficiency virus-associated dementia (HAD). 2. It has been hypothesized that the disruption of the BBB occurs early in the course of HIV-1 infection and can be responsible for HIV-1 entry into the CNS. 3. The current review discusses the mechanisms of injury to brain endothelial cells and alterations of the BBB integrity in HIV-infection with focus on the vascular effects of HIV Tat protein. In addition, this review describes the mechanisms of the BBB disruption due to HIV-1 or Tat protein interaction with selected risk factors for HIV infection, such as substance abuse and aging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-199
Number of pages19
JournalCellular and Molecular Neurobiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NIH (NS39254, MH63022, and AA013843).


  • AIDS
  • Blood-brain barrier
  • Brain endothelial cells
  • HIV
  • Inflammatory responses
  • Tat
  • Tight junction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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