Regional quantitative comparison of multispliced to unspliced ratios of HIV-1 RNA copy number in infected human brain

Robert K. Fujimura, Imad Khamis, Paul Shapshak, Karl Goodkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Infection of the brain by HIV-1 often results in cognitive-motor disorders, the most severe form being HIV-1 associated dimentia (HAD). However, the etiology and pathogenesis of neuroAIDS at the molecular level is still not fully understood and controversial issues remain, including the significance of abortive infection and localized viral load. This paper proposes that quantitative comparison of HIV-1 pro viral and RNA loads across the brain will clarify some of these issues. It was hypothesized that there are differences in ratios of multispliced and unspliced HIV RNA in different regions of brain by analogy with prior findings of brain regional differences in virus and strains of HIV-1. A competitive RT-PCR method was used to compare ratios of multispliced to unspliced HIV-1 RNAs across brain regions of one case with HAD. Statistical analysis results showed that data obtained by repeated assays for each RNA preparation were not significantly different. Significant differences were detected between specimens obtained from different regions of the brain. The ratio of MS/US RNA in the frontal lobe was significantly greater than in the basal ganglia, medial temporal lobe, and another site in the temporal lobe. It must be noted that our approach has been the analysis of macroscopic brain regions separated by several centimeters; future studies will analyze microscopic analysis of these brain regions. The current study was preformed to produce results on gross differences in neuroanatomical locations at cm distances. Future studies will be performed to compare different regions with microscopic anatomic specificity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-60
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Neuro-AIDS
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Abortive infection
  • Quantification
  • Unspliced and multispliced RNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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