Neuronal cells in culture respond to neuronal growth factors by secondary cellular pathways similar to those described for activation of lymphocytes and macrophages. In HIV-1-infected T lymphocytes and in macrophages, these pathways were shown to converge on nuclear factors that bind and stimulate the HIV-1 LTR and lead to enhancement of HIV-1 expression. In the current study we have investigated whether the same mechanisms also enhance HIV-1 production by neural cells. We have demonstrated that HIV/N1T replication in HCN-1A cells, a human cortical neuronal cell line, is enhanced threefold by nerve growth factor (NGF) and by fibroblast growth factor (FGF), but not by epidermal growth (EGF) factor, or phorbol ester. HCN-1A cells also responded to HIV/N1T infection with pronounced morphological changes, indicative of a differentiation-like process. The cells diminished in size and small neurites were observed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases