Beta amyloid precursor protein and patterns of HIV p24 immunohistochemistry in different brain areas of AIDS patients

Manuela Nebuloni, Alessandro Pellegrinelli, Angelita Ferri, Sara Bonetto, Renzo Boldorini, Luca Vago, Maria Pia Grassi, Giulio Costanzi

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Objectives: To evaluate the correlation between immunohistochemical positive patterns (globular and filamentous structures) of β-amyloid precursor protein (β-APP), used as a marker of axonal damage, and the different distribution of HIV p24 antigens, in three different brain areas of AIDS patients. Methods: Eighteen AIDS patients with HIV-related brain lesions were included in the study. Forty-nine sections from basal ganglia, frontal cortex and hippocampus were selected. After microwave oven pre-treatment, the sections were incubated with anti-HIV p24 and anti-β-APP monoclonal antibodies; the reactions were developed with peroxidase/3,3′diaminobenzidine. The positivity was graded by semi-quantitative scores. Double immunohistochemical staining was used to evaluate the co-localization of the antigens. Results: HIV p24 immunohistochemistry was positive in 44 of 49 sections (89%), with a prevalence of interstitial positive cells and positive microglial nodules in 27 and 13 sections respectively. β-APP-positive structures were demonstrated in 23 of 44 sections (52%) with HIV-related lesions, and were absent from the five sections without viral expression. Globular and filamentous lesions were observed in 21 of 23 sections and 10 of 23 lesions respectively. Moreover, a high grade of globular type lesion was related to an elevated presence of diffuse interstitial HIV p24-positive cells in basal ganglia; double immunohistochemical reactions demonstrated the co-localization of β-APP globules and HIV p24 antigens. Conclusions: The data obtained confirm the coexpression of β-APP and viral antigens in particular areas of the brain with HIV-related lesions; there is a strict correlation between β-APP globules (indicating chronic cerebral damage) and the interstitial pattern of HIV p24 immunohistochemistry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-575
Number of pages5
JournalAIDS (London, England)
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 30 2001


  • β-amyloid precursor protein
  • HIV
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Neuropathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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