Human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome dementia complex: Role of cells of monocyte-macrophage lineage

Stefano Aquaro, Luigi Ronga, Michela Pollicita, Andrea Antinori, Alessandro Ranazzi, Carlo Federico Perno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The entry of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) into the central nervous system (CNS) causes both the establishment of a lifelong viral reservoir in the brain and symptoms of neurological dysfunction that have an AIDS dementia complex (ADC) clinical appearance. Neurological dysfunction in ADC patients still remains an unresolved problem. However, ADC pathogenesis may be a multistep process that starts with HIV invasion of CNS by crossing the blood-brain barrier (BBB). It progresses by developing a chronic inflammatory status that can cause dysfunction in neurons and astrocytes that result in apoptotic death. Monocytes-macrophages (M/M) may play an important role by concealing the HIV transfer across the BBB. Furthermore, HIV-infected M/M could produce and release neurotoxic factors. In this review the main mediators and cells involved in pathogenesis and development of ADC are highlighted. A better understanding of the mechanisms involved in this process may help in a successful therapeutic approach to the neuropathogenesis of HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-66
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of NeuroVirology
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
Publication statusPublished - 2005



  • Central Nervous System
  • HIV
  • Reservoir

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this