Novel RNA-Seq Signatures Post-Methamphetamine and Oxycodone Use in a Model of HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders

Pranavi Athota, Nghi M. Nguyen, Victoria L. Schaal, Sankarasubramanian Jagadesan, Chittibabu Guda, Sowmya V. Yelamanchili, Gurudutt Pendyala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the 21st century, the effects of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) have been significantly reduced in individuals due to the development of antiretroviral therapies (ARTs). However, the growing epidemic of polysubstance use (PSU) has led to concern for the effects of PSU on HIV-seropositive individuals. To effectively treat individuals affected by HAND, it is critical to understand the biological mechanisms affected by PSU, including the identification of novel markers. To fill this important knowledge gap, we used an in vivo HIV-1 Transgenic (HIV-1 Tg) animal model to investigate the effects of the combined use of chronic methamphetamine (METH) and oxycodone (oxy). A RNA-Seq analysis on the striatum—a brain region that is primarily targeted by both HIV and drugs of abuse—identified key differentially expressed markers post-METH and oxy exposure. Furthermore, ClueGO analysis and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) revealed crucial molecular and biological functions associated with ATP-activated adenosine receptors, neuropeptide hormone activity, and the oxytocin signaling pathway to be altered between the different treatment groups. The current study further reveals the harmful effects of chronic PSU and HIV infection that can subsequently impact neurological outcomes in polysubstance users with HAND.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1948
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • HIV
  • RNA sequencing
  • bioinformatics
  • methamphetamine
  • oxycodone
  • polysubstance use
  • transgenic rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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