Friends Turn Foe—Astrocytes Contribute to Neuronal Damage in NeuroAIDS
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Astrocytes play a wide variety of roles in the central nervous system (CNS). Various facets of astrocyte-neuron interplay, investigated for the past few decades, have placed these most abundant and important glial cell types to be of supreme importance for the maintenance of the healthy CNS. Interestingly, glial dysfunctions have proven to be the major contributor to neuronal loss in several CNS disorders and pathologies. Specifically, in the field of neuroAIDS, glial dysfunction–mediated neuronal stress is a major factor contributing to the HIV-1 neuropathogenesis. As there is increasing evidence that astrocytes harbor HIV-1 and serve as “safe haven” for the dormant virus in the brain, the indirect pathway of neuronal damage has taken over the direct neuronal damage in its contribution to HIV-1 neuropathogenesis. In this review, we provide a brief insight into the astrocyte functions and dysfunctions in different CNS conditions with an elaborated insight into neuroAIDS. Detailed understanding of the role of astrocytes in neuroAIDS will help in the better therapeutic management of the neurological problems associated with HIV-1 patients.
KeywordsGlial dysfunction Astrocyte Astrocytosis NeuroAIDS HIV-1 neuropathogenesis Neurodegeneration
The authors wish to acknowledge the support of the facilities provided under the Biotechnology Information System Network (BTISNET) grant, Department of Biotechnology, India and Distributed Information Centre at NBRC, Manesar, India.
The study was supported by a Research Fellowship to Hriday S. Pandey from CSIR, New Delhi, India, and financial support from Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Department of Science and Technology (DST), New Delhi, and NBRC core funds to Prof. Pankaj Seth.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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