Macrophages and dopamine: a role in NeuroAIDS

  • Gaskill, Peter J. (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The goal of this proposal is to increase the understanding of the mechanisms contributing the exacerbation of neurological complications in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infected drug abusers. The use of dopaminergic drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, increases both the incidence and severity of HIV-induced neurological disease in HIV infected individuals. These drugs act by increasing extracellular dopamine levels in the central nervous system (CMS). Studies show that increased extracellular dopamine exacerbates HIV induced CMS pathology, but the mechanisms that mediate this effect are not fully characterized. Macrophages, the major target for HIV in the CMS, also play a central role in the neuropathology of HIV infection. The preliminary data in this proposal show that dopamine treatment increases HIV replication in macrophages, and demonstrate the presence of dopamine receptors on the surface of the eels. These data indicate that dopamine may play a direct role in the development of HIV induced CMS pathology through dopamine mediated modulation of HIV infection of macropahges. To determine the mechanism mediating this effect, studies in this proposal will fully characterize the pharmacology and kinetics of dopamine-mediated increase in HIV replication in macrophages. HIV infection in the presence of dopamine receptor agonists and antagonists will determine which dopamine receptors mediate the increase in HIV replication in macrophages. To examine the mechanism mediating this effect, studies will examine crosstalk between the active dopamine receptors and the HIV receptor CD4, and coreceptors CXCR4 and CCR5 as well as dopamine-induced alterations in the viral entry, integration, and budding processes. Experiments will also use protein kinase inhibitors during HIV infection to examine the signaling pathways involved in dopamine enhanced HIV replication. Defining the mechanisms by which dopamine increases HIV replication in macrophages will contribute to the understanding and treatment of the heightened incidence and severity of neurological disease among HIV infected drug users. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: HIV infection can result in a variety of neurological complications that are exacerbated by drugs of abuse. Defining the mechanisms by which drug abuse increases the incidence and severity of HIV induced neurological complications will increase the understanding of HIV infection in the brain and help to develop intervention strategies to limit the devastating consequences of neurologic impairment in HIV infected drug users.
Effective start/end date6/1/088/31/10


  • National Institutes of Health: $14,756.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $49,646.00


  • Medicine(all)


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