Combinatorial assessments of brain tissue metabolomics and histopathology in rodent models of human immunodeficiency virus infection

Adrian A. Epstein, Prabagaran Narayanasamy, Prasanta K. Dash, Robin High, Sai Praneeth R. Bathena, Santhi Gorantla, Larisa Y. Poluektova, Yazen Alnouti, Howard E. Gendelman, Michael D. Boska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Metabolites are biomarkers for a broad range of central nervous system disorders serving as molecular drivers and byproducts of disease pathobiology. However, despite their importance, routine measures of brain tissue metabolomics are not readily available based on the requirements of rapid tissue preservation. They require preservation by microwave irradiation, rapid freezing or other methods designed to reduce post mortem metabolism. Our research on human immunodeficiency virus type one (HIV-1) infection has highlighted immediate needs to better link histology to neural metabolites. To this end, we investigated such needs in well-studied rodent models. First, the dynamics of brain metabolism during ex vivo tissue preparation was shown by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy in normal mice. Second, tissue preservation methodologies were assessed using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry and immunohistology to measure metabolites and neural antigens. Third, these methods were applied to two animal models. In the first, immunodeficient mice reconstituted with human peripheral blood lymphocytes then acutely infected with HIV-1. In the second, NOD scid IL2 receptor gamma chain knockout mice were humanized with CD34+ human hematopoietic stem cells and chronically infected with HIV-1. Replicate infected animals were treated with nanoformulated antiretroviral therapy (nanoART). Results from chronic infection showed that microgliosis was associated with increased myoinostitol, choline, phosphocholine concentrations and with decreased creatine concentrations. These changes were partially reversed with nanoART. Metabolite responses were contingent on the animal model. Taken together, these studies integrate brain metabolomics with histopathology towards uncovering putative biomarkers for neuroAIDS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1224-1238
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Antigen preservation
  • Focused beam microwave irradiation
  • Human immunodeficiency virus type one
  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Metabolomics
  • Neural antigens
  • neuroAIDS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology


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