Increased expression of nitric oxide synthase and dendritic injury in simian immunodeficiency virus encephalitis

Qingsheng Li, Lee E. Eiden, Winston Cavert, Todd A. Reinhart, Dianne M. Rausch, Elisabeth A. Murray, Eberhard Weihe, Ashley T. Haase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objectives: Widespread dendritic injury may be one mechanism involved in the neurologic impairment that occurs in HIV-1 infection. The objectives of this study were to quantitate the extent of dendritic injury in a primate model of central nervous system (CNS) infection, investigate the role of nitric oxide (NO) as a mediator of neuropathologic changes, and evaluate the relation of these changes to cognitive and motor function. Study Design/Methods: Cognitive and motor function was assessed in rhesus macaque monkeys infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). In situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, and quantitative image analysis were employed to assess the relations among productive infection, NO synthase (iNOS), and dendritic injury. Results: Productive infection of cells of the macrophage lineage in CNS is associated with inflammation, increased expression of iNOS, and dendritic injury. The tests of cognitive and motor function employed were abnormal in both animals that had evidence of productive infection and those that did not. Conclusions: Increased NO accompanying productive infection and encephalitis may be one cause of neuronal injury in lentivirus infections of the CNS. Extension of tests of cognitive and motor function to late-stage AIDS in rhesus monkeys is needed to assess the potential role of NO-induced dendritic damage in lentiviral encephalopathy/AIDS dementia complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-145
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Human Virology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1999


  • Encephalitis
  • Nitric oxide
  • Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)


Dive into the research topics of 'Increased expression of nitric oxide synthase and dendritic injury in simian immunodeficiency virus encephalitis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this