Neuroprotective activities of CEP-1347 in models of neuroAIDS

Dawn Eggert, Prasanta K. Dash, Santhi Gorantla, Huanyu Dou, Giovanni Schifitto, Sanjay B. Maggirwar, Stephen Dewhurst, Larisa Poluektova, Harris A. Gelbard, Howard E. Gendelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


When the nervous system is infected with HIV-1, it commonly results in neuroinflammation leading to overt neuronal dysfunction and subsequent cognitive and behavioral impairments. The multifaceted disease process, now referred to as HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND), provides a range of molecular targets for adjunctive therapies. One is CEP-1347, an inhibitor of mixed lineage kinases that elicits neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory responses in models of neurodegenerative diseases. Since HAND is associated with inflammatory encephalopathy induced by virus infection and mononuclear phagocytes (perivascular macrophages and microglia) immune activation, we investigated whether CEP-1347 could ameliorate disease in laboratory models of HAND. We now demonstrate that CEP-1347 reduces the levels of secreted proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines in HIV-1-infected human macrophages and attenuates dose-dependent neurotoxicity in rodent cortical neurons. CEP-1347-treated mice readily achieve therapeutic drug levels in peripheral blood. HIV-1 encephalitis (HIVE) mice, where human virus-infected monocyte-derived macrophages are stereotactically injected into the basal ganglia of CB17 severe combined immunodeficient mice, received daily intraperitoneal injections of CEP-1347. Here, CEP-1347 treatment of HIVE mice showed a dose-dependent reduction in microgliosis. Dendritic integrity and neuronal loss were sustained and prevented, respectively. These results demonstrate that CEP-1347 elicits anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective responses in an HIVE model of human disease and as such warrants further study as an adjunctive therapy for human disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)746-756
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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