IL-16 expression in lymphocytes and microglia in HIV-1 encephalitis

M. L. Zhao, Q. Si, S. C. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


IL-16 is a natural ligand for the CD4 molecule and is known for its chemotactic and anti-HIV-1 activities. We determined IL-16 expression in human brain tissue with HIV-1 encephalitis by specific immunocytochemistry and showed that infiltrating lymphocytes and activated microglia express IL-16. IL-16 immunoreactivity was particularly pronounced in microglial nodules. In vitro, human foetal microglia and not astrocytes produce IL-16, and HIV-1 infection up-regulates microglial IL-16 release in a Nef-dependent manner. These results support the notion that, in the brain, IL-16 is a macrophage-lineage specific modulator of the inflammatory response and HIV-1 expression. Recruitment of IL-16+ T cells and microglia/ macrophages may represent an innate response to HIV-1 infection in the central nervous system that counterbalances viral stimulatory factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-242
Number of pages10
JournalNeuropathology and Applied Neurobiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2004


  • Astrocyte
  • Chemokine
  • Macrophage
  • Microglial nodule
  • Nef

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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