Document Type



The prevalence of HIV-1 associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) is significantly greater in older, relative to younger, HIV-1 seropositive individuals; the neural pathogenesis of HAND in older HIV-1 seropositive individuals, however, remains elusive. To address this knowledge gap, abnormal protein aggregates (i.e., β-amyloid) were investigated in the brains of aging (>12 months of age) HIV-1 transgenic (Tg) rats. In aging HIV-1 Tg rats, double immunohistochemistry staining revealed abnormal intraneuronal β-amyloid accumulation in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampus, relative to F344/N control rats. Notably, in HIV-1 Tg animals, increased β-amyloid accumulation occurred in the absence of any genotypic changes in amyloid precursor protein (APP). Furthermore, no clear amyloid plaque deposition was observed in HIV-1 Tg animals. Critically, β-amyloid was co-localized with neurons in the cortex and hippocampus, supporting a potential mechanism underlying synaptic dysfunction in the HIV-1 Tg rat. Consistent with these neuropathological findings, HIV-1 Tg rats exhibited prominent alterations in the progression of temporal processing relative to control animals; temporal processing relies, at least in part, on the integrity of the PFC and hippocampus. In addition, in post-mortem HIV-1 seropositive individuals with HAND, intraneuronal β-amyloid accumulation was observed in the dorsolateral PFC and hippocampal dentate gyrus. Consistent with observations in the HIV-1 Tg rat, no amyloid plaques were found in these post-mortem HIV-1 seropositive individuals with HAND. Collectively, intraneuronal β-amyloid aggregation observed in the PFC and hippocampus of HIV-1 Tg rats supports a potential factor underlying HIV-1 associated synaptodendritic damage. Further, the HIV-1 Tg rat provides a biological system to model HAND in older HIV-1 seropositive individuals.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license(

APA Citation

Li, H., McLaurin, K., Mactutus, C., Likins, B., Huang, W., Chang, S., & Booze, R. (2022). Intraneuronal β-Amyloid Accumulation: Aging HIV-1 Human and HIV-1 Transgenic Rat Brain. Viruses, 14(6), 1268.

Included in

Psychology Commons