HIV-1 and drug abuse comorbidity: Lessons learned from the animal models of NeuroHIV

Susmita Sil, Annadurai Thangaraj, Ernest T. Chivero, Fang Niu, Muthukumar Kannan, Ke Liao, Peter S. Silverstein, Palsamy Periyasamy, Shilpa Buch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Various research studies that have investigated the association between HIV infection and addiction underpin the role of various drugs of abuse in impairing immunological and non-immunological pathways of the host system, ultimately leading to augmentation of HIV infection and disease progression. These studies have included both in vitro and in vivo animal models wherein investigators have assessed the effects of various drugs on several disease parameters to decipher the impact of drugs on both HIV infection and progression of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). However, given the inherent limitations in the existing animal models of HAND, these investigations only recapitulated specific aspects of the disease but not the complex human syndrome. Despite the inability of HIV to infect rodents over the last 30 years, multiple strategies have been employed to develop several rodent models of HAND. While none of these models can accurately mimic the overall pathophysiology of HAND, they serve the purpose of modeling some unique aspects of HAND. This review provides an overview of various animal models used in the field and a careful evaluation of methodological strengths and limitations inherent in both the model systems and study designs to understand better how the various animal models complement one another.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number135863
JournalNeuroscience Letters
StatePublished - May 29 2021


  • Animal models
  • Drug abuse
  • HAND
  • HIV
  • Rhesus macaques
  • SIV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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