Alkaline pH changes in the cerebellum of asymptomatic HIV-infected individuals.

Academic Article


  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection of the brain causes a complex cascade of cellular events involving several different cell types that eventually leads to neuronal cell death and the manifestation of the AIDS-associated dementia complex (ADC). Upon autopsy HIV-infected individuals show lesions within subcortical regions of the brain, including the cerebellum. Previously we have demonstrated, in primary and cell culture models of rat and human astrocytes, a change in intracellular pH (pH(i)) due to increased Na(+)/H(+) exchange following exposure to inactivated virus or gp120, the major HIV envelope glycoprotein. To further investigate whether any such in vivo pH(i) changes occur in human brains subsequent to HIV infection, we measured the pH(i) of the cerebellum in eight HIV-positive individuals and nine healthy volunteers using (31)P magnetic resonance spectroscopy imaging (MRSI) at high field strength (4.1 T). The results showed a significant difference between the age-adjusted mean pH(i) in the cerebellum in control group and patient groups (7.11 +/- 0.03 vs 7.16 +/- 0.04), and further HIV-infected individuals displayed a significant increase in the number of cerebellar volume elements that were alkaline. We hypothesize that this propensity towards alterations in cerebellar pH(i) may portend later neurological involvement resulting from HIV infection.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • NMR in Biomedicine  Journal
  • Keywords

  • Adenosine Triphosphate, Adult, Cerebellum, Female, HIV Infections, Humans, Hydrogen-Ion Concentration, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Male, Phosphates, Phosphocreatine
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 22190480
  • Author List

  • Patton HK; Chu WJ; Hetherington HP; den Hollander J; Stewart KE; Raper JL; Shelton BJ; Benveniste EN; Benos DJ
  • Start Page

  • 12
  • End Page

  • 18
  • Volume

  • 14
  • Issue

  • 1