Insulin Treatment Prevents Neuroinflammation and Neuronal Injury with Restored Neurobehavioral Function in Models of HIV/AIDS Neurodegeneration

The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Manmeet K MamikChristopher Power

Abstract

HIV-1 infection of the brain causes the neurodegenerative syndrome HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND), for which there is no specific treatment. Herein, we investigated the actions of insulin using ex vivo and in vivo models of HAND. Increased neuroinflammatory gene expression was observed in brains from patients with HIV/AIDS. The insulin receptor was detected on both neurons and glia, but its expression was unaffected by HIV-1 infection. Insulin treatment of HIV-infected primary human microglia suppressed supernatant HIV-1 p24 levels, reduced CXCL10 and IL-6 transcript levels, and induced peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-γ) expression. Insulin treatment of primary human neurons prevented HIV-1 Vpr-mediated cell process retraction and death. In feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) infected cats, daily intranasal insulin treatment (20.0 IU/200 μl for 6 weeks) reduced CXCL10, IL-6, and FIV RNA detection in brain, although PPAR-γ in glia was increased compared with PBS-treated FIV+ control animals. These molecular changes were accompanied by diminished glial activation in cerebral cortex and white matter of insulin-treated FIV+ animals, with associated preservation of cortical neurons. Neuronal co...Continue Reading

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Citations

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