Interferon-independent, human immunodeficiency virus type 1 gp120-mediated induction of CXCL10/IP-10 gene expression by astrocytes in vivo and in vitro

V. C. Asensio, J. Maier, R. Milner, K. Boztug, C. Kincaid, M. Moulard, C. Phillipson, K. Lindsley, T. Krucker, H. S. Fox, I. L. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


The CXC chemokine gamma interferon (IFN-γ)-inducible protein CXCL10/IP-10 is markedly elevated in cerebrospinal fluid and brain of individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and is implicated in the pathogenesis of HIV-associated dementia (HAD). To explore the possible role of CXCL10/ IP-10 in HAD, we examined the expression of this and other chemokines in the central nervous system (CNS) of transgenic mice with astrocyte-targeted expression of HIV gp120 under the control of the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) promoter, a murine model for HIV-1 encephalopathy. Compared with wild-type controls, CNS expression of the CC chemokine gene CCL2/MCP-1 and the CXC chemokine genes CXCL10/IP-10 and CXCL9/Mig was induced in the GFAP-HIV gp120 mice. CXCL10/IP-10 RNA expression was increased most and overlapped the expression of the transgene-encoded HIV gp120 gene. Astrocytes and to a lesser extent microglia were identified as the major cellular sites for CXCL10/IP-10 gene expression. There was no detectable expression of any class of IFN or their responsive genes. In astrocyte cultures, soluble recombinant HIV gp120 protein was capable of directly inducing CXCL10/IP-10 gene expression a process that was independent of STAT1. These findings highlight a novel IFN- and STAT1-independent mechanism for the regulation of CXCL10/IP-10 expression and directly link expression of HIV gp120 to the induction of CXCL10/IP-10 that is found in HIV infection of the CNS. Finally, one function of IP-10 expression may be the recruitment of leukocytes to the CNS, since the brain of GFAP-HIV gp120 mice had increased numbers of CD3+ T cells that were found in close proximity to sites of CXCL10/IP-10 RNA expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7067-7077
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number15
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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