Microglia-passaged simian immunodeficiency virus induces neurophysiological abnormalities in monkeys

Oscar Prospéro-García, Lisa H. Gold, Howard S. Fox, Ilham Polis, George F. Koob, Floyd E. Bloom, Steven J. Henriksen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Four rhesus macaques were inoculated intravenously with a cryopreserved stock of microglia obtained from a simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)- infected rhesus macaque. Before infection, three of the four monkeys were trained and tested daily on a computerized neuropsychological test battery. After SIV infection, behavioral testing continued to monitor deficits associated with disease progression. Five additional age-matched, behaviorally trained monkeys served as controls. Neurophysiological testing for visual and auditory evoked responses was accomplished 37-52 weeks after infection in all monkeys. Subsequently, all four SIV-infected monkeys and one control subject were sacrificed, and samples of brain tissue were taken for pathological analysis. SIV-infected monkeys demonstrated abnormal responses in both auditory and visual evoked responses. In addition, around the time of electrophysiological recording, all three SIV-infected, behaviorally trained monkeys exhibited significant decreases in progressive- ratio performance, reflecting a reduction in reinforcer efficacy. One subject also demonstrated impairments in shifting of attentional set and motor ability at that time. Neuropathological evaluation revealed that all four SIV-infected monkeys exhibited numerous perivascular and parenchymal infiltrating T cells. These findings document that SIV causes electrophysiological, behavioral, and neuropathological sequelae similar to what has been observed in the human neuroAIDS syndrome. Our observations further validate the simian model for the investigation of the pathogenesis of AIDS dementia and for the investigation of drugs with potential therapeutic benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14158-14163
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number24
StatePublished - Nov 26 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • behavioral performance
  • evoked potentials
  • pathogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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