Navigation Links
U of M researchers find HIV protein may impact neurocognitive impairment in infected patients
Date:11/15/2013

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (November 15, 2013) A protein shed by HIV-infected brain cells alters synaptic connections between networks of nerve cells, according to new research out of the University of Minnesota. The findings could explain why nearly half of all patients infected with the AIDS virus experience some level of neurocognitive impairment.

The research was published in the current volume of the Journal of Neuroscience.

"The synaptic changes didn't appear to be a symptom of nerve death," said Nicholas Hargus, Ph.D., lead author on the paper and a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Pharmacology in the University of Minnesota Medical School. "Instead, the changes appeared to be a protective response resulting from the over-excitation of the network by the HIV protein transactivator of transcription (Tat). Essentially, the neuroprotective mechanism has gone awry."

HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) are an indirect result of HIV, as the disease itself does not infect neurons. Tat has been shown to contribute heavily to the development of HAND in patients. Hargus and Stanley Thayer, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Pharmacology, wanted to learn more about the relationship between Tat and HAND to better understand how to treat the disorders.

Researchers replicated the impact of the Tat in a rat model and tracked the changes to the synaptic proteins. They found changes in both inhibitory and excitatory synapses were initiated by specific Tat binding activity. This discovery indicated a pharmacological change due to exposure to Tat.

"We found drugs altering synaptic transmission between nerve cells reversed the synaptic changes induced by Tat," said Thayer. "In the future, this could provide a target for the development of drugs to act upon and improve cognitive function in patients."

Ongoing experiments are investigating the relationship between drug-induced changes in synaptic connections and the changes in cognitive function. In the future, high throughput approaches to assess synaptic function will be developed for evaluating drug candidates.


'/>"/>

Contact: Caroline Marin
crmarin@umn.edu
612-624-5680
University of Minnesota Academic Health Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Nanotech researchers 2-step method shows promise in fighting pancreatic cancer
2. Get Out and Play! Radio Flyer is Searching for Innovative New Ride-On Toys for Kids to Inspire Outdoor Play as Researchers Recommend Limiting Kids' Screen Time
3. McMaster researchers test bandaging for swollen arm
4. Mayo Clinic: Researchers to study bodys defense system to find new treatments for Alzheimers
5. Researchers call for health-care changes to help adults with developmental disabilities
6. Researchers discover that the body clock may influence morning peak in adverse cardiovascular events
7. Researchers identify a histone demethylase associated with non-small cell lung cancer
8. Researchers at Pace University Explore the Lived Experiences of Families Members That Have the Possible Risk of Genetic Mutations That Cause Sudden Cardiac Death
9. UT Southwestern researchers discover a new driver of breast cancer
10. Sanders-Brown researchers produce new research on little-understood brain disease
11. UCSF researchers offer solutions to looming health-care provider shortage
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs ... College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. ... treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a ... area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World ... with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center ... with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to announce they ... to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort Keepers provides ... life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is one of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Puradigm® ... Group (TGIG), has initiated cultivation and processing operations at its production facility, and ... Nevada. , Puradigm is the manufacturer of a complete system of proactive air ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Calif. , June 24, 2016  American Respiratory Labs (ARL), ... is now able to perform sophisticated lung assessments in patients, homes, ... , Inc. Patients are no longer limited to ... EasyOne PRO ® , ARL patients like Jeanne R. of ... in the comfort of her own home. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Mass. , June 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, ... pharmaceutical company developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today that ... Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of ... "This is an important milestone for Pulmatrix," ... will increase shareholder awareness of our progress in developing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  MedSource announced today that ... e-clinical software solution of choice.  This latest decision ... value to their clients by offering a state-of-the-art ... relationship establishes nowEDC as the EDC platform of ... full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long been a preferred ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: