Clinical markers of HIV predict redox-regulated neural and behavioral function in the sensorimotor system

Rachel K. Spooner, Brittany K. Taylor, Iman M. Ahmad, Kelsey Dyball, Katy Emanuel, Jennifer O'Neill, Maureen Kubat, Howard S. Fox, Sara H. Bares, Kelly L. Stauch, Matthew C. Zimmerman, Tony W. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Even in the modern era of combination antiretroviral therapy, aberrations in motor control remain a predominant symptom contributing to age-related functional dependencies (e.g., neurocognitive impairment) in people with HIV (PWH). While recent evidence implicates aberrant mitochondrial redox environments in the modulation of neural oscillatory activity serving motor control in PWH, the contribution of important clinical and demographic factors on this bioenergetic-neural-behavioral pathway is unknown. Herein, we evaluate the predictive capacity of clinical metrics pertinent to HIV (e.g., CD4 nadir, time with viremia) and age on mitochondrial redox-regulated sensorimotor brain-behavior dynamics in 69 virally-suppressed PWH. We used state-of-the-art systems biology and neuroscience approaches, including Seahorse analyzer of mitochondrial energetics, EPR spectroscopy of intracellular oxidant levels, antioxidant activity assays pertinent to superoxide and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) redox environments, and magnetoencephalographic (MEG) imaging to quantify sensorimotor oscillatory dynamics. Our results demonstrate differential effects of redox systems on the neural dynamics serving motor function in PWH. In addition, measures of immune stability and duration of compromise due to HIV had dissociable effects on this pathway, above and beyond the effects of age alone. Moreover, peripheral measures of antioxidant activity (i.e., superoxide dismutase) fully mediated the relationship between immune stability and current behavioral performance, indicative of persistent oxidative environments serving motor control in the presence of virologic suppression. Taken together, our data suggest that disease-related factors, in particular, are stronger predictors of current redox, neural and behavioral profiles serving motor function, which may serve as effective targets for alleviating HIV-specific alterations in cognitive-motor function in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-329
Number of pages8
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
StatePublished - Feb 20 2024


  • Aging
  • CD4
  • EPR spectroscopy
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Motor cortex
  • Neural oscillations
  • Seahorse analyzer
  • Superoxide
  • cART

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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