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Stable expression of HIV-1 Nef induces changes in growth properties and activation state of human astrocytes

Item Type:Article
Title:Stable expression of HIV-1 Nef induces changes in growth properties and activation state of human astrocytes
Creators Name:Kohleisen, B. and Shumay, E. and Sutter, G. and Foerster, R. and Brack-Werner, R. and Nuesse, M. and Erfle, V.
Abstract:OBJECTIVE: Nef was shown to be the predominant viral protein expressed in HIV-1-infected astrocytes in vivo and in vitro suggesting a distinct role of Nef in this cell type. Nef-induced activation of T cells is well described, whereas the functional activities of Nef in astrocytes are unknown. Our aim was to examine the effect of Nef on growth properties and activation of astrocytes. DESIGN: Human Nef-expressing astrocytic cell lines were established by stable transfection with different wild-type and mutant nef genes derived from laboratory isolates and brain tissue. METHODS: Nef-expressing astrocytes were characterized in terms of growth properties (proliferation, growth in soft agar, focus formation) and morphology. Apoptotic cell death and expression of activation markers were determined by fluorescent antibody cell sorting. RESULTS: Astrocytic cell lines revealed persistent Nef expression-detectable at the levels of mRNA and protein-and showed altered growth properties and morphology. Elevated expression of activation markers such as glial fibrillary acidic protein and CD88 (complement receptor C5a) was observed; these are regarded as markers for inflammatory processes in the brain. This effect was independent of the nef type or the expression level of the Nef protein. In contrast with previous reports no evidence for increased apoptotic cell death was found in astrocytes expressing Nef stably. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that Nef changes the cellular properties of astrocytes, thus contributing to astrocyte activation and induction of astrogliosis in the central nervous system of individuals with AIDS.
Keywords:Nef, HIV-1, Astrocytes, Neuropathogenesis, Astrogliosis
Page Range:2331-2341
Date:3 December 1999
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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