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Use of laser capture microdissection to detect integrated HIV-1 DNA in macrophages and astrocytes from autopsy brain tissues.

Churchill MJ, Gorry PR, Cowley D, Lal L, Sonza S, Purcell DF, Thompson KA, Gabuzda D, McArthur JC, Pardo CA, Wesselingh SL

  • Journal Journal of neurovirology

  • Published 11 Aug 2006

  • Volume 12

  • ISSUE 2

  • Pagination 146-52

  • DOI 10.1080/13550280600748946


The importance of astrocytes as a reservoir of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in the brain remains elusive. By combining immunohistochemistry, laser capture microdissection, and triple-nested Alu-PCR, we demonstrate integrated HIV-1 in astrocytes and macrophages isolated directly from autopsy brain tissues of HIV-1-infected subjects. The ability of HIV-1 to integrate in terminally differentiated astrocytes suggests a permanent reservoir of provirus in brain that will impact the development and likely success of strategies aimed at eradicating HIV-1.