The molecular cause(s) for early onset heart failure in people living with HIV-1 infection (PLWH) remains poorly defined. Herein, longitudinal echocardiography was used to assess whether NOD.Cg-Prkdcscid Il2rgtm1Wjl/SzJ mice reconstituted with human hematopoietic stem cells (Hu-NSG mice) and infected with HIV-1ADA can recapitulate the salient features of this progressive human disease. Four weeks post infection, Hu-NSG mice of both sexes developed left ventricular (LV) diastolic dysfunction (DD), with 25% exhibiting grade III/IV restrictive DD with mitral regurgitation. Increases in global longitudinal and circumferential strains and declines in LV ejection fraction and fractional shortening were observed eight weeks post infection. After twelve weeks of infection, 33% of Hu-NSG mice exhibited LV dyskinesia and dyssynchrony. Histopathological analyses of hearts seventeen weeks post infection revealed coronary microvascular leakage, fibrosis and immune cell infiltration into the myocardium. These data show for the first time that HIV-1ADA-infected Hu-NSG mice can recapitulate key left ventricular cardiac deficits and pathophysiological changes reported in humans with progressive HIV-1 infection. The results also suggest that HIV-1 infected Hu-NSG mice may be a useful model to screen for pharmacological agents to blunt LV dysfunction and associated pathophysiologic causes reported in PLWH.
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