Due to the widespread access to, and implementation of, combination antiretroviral therapy, individuals perinatally infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) are living into adolescence and adulthood. Perinatally infected adolescents living with HIV-1 (pALHIV) are plagued by progressive, chronic neurocognitive impairments; the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying these deficits, however, remain understudied. A longitudinal experimental design from postnatal day (PD) 30 to PD 180 was utilized to establish the development of pyramidal neurons, and associated dendritic spines, from layers II-III of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in HIV-1 transgenic (Tg) and control animals. Three putative neuroinflammatory markers (i.e., IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α) were evaluated early in development (i.e., PD 30) as a potential mechanism underlying synaptic dysfunction in the mPFC. Constitutive expression of HIV-1 viral proteins induced prominent neurodevelopmental alterations and progressive synaptodendritic dysfunction, independent of biological sex, in pyramidal neurons from layers II-III of the mPFC. From a neurodevelopmental perspective, HIV-1 Tg rats exhibited prominent deficits in dendritic and synaptic pruning. With regards to progressive synaptodendritic dysfunction, HIV-1 Tg animals exhibited an age-related population shift towards dendritic spines with decreased volume, increased backbone length, and decreased head diameter; parameters associated with a more immature dendritic spine phenotype. There was no compelling evidence for neuroinflammation in the mPFC during early development. Collectively, progressive neuronal and dendritic spine dysmorphology herald synaptodendritic dysfunction as a key neural mechanism underlying chronic neurocognitive impairments in pALHIV.
|State||Published - Nov 2021|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This work was supported in part by grants from NIH (National Institute on Drug Abuse, DA013137; National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, HD043680; National Institute of Mental Health, MH106392; National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NS100624) and the interdisciplinary research training program supported by the University of South Carolina Behavioral-Biomedical Interface Program.
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Dendritic spines
- Human immunodeficiency virus type 1
- Prefrontal cortex
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (all)