Cecilia Marcondes, Ph.D. publishes on Systems Biology Analysis of the Antagonizing Effects of HIV-1 Tat Expression in the Brain over Transcriptional Changes Caused by Methamphetamine Sensitization

Methamphetamine (Meth) usage is common among people infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The HIV-1 regulatory protein, trans-activator of transcription (Tat), can induce changes in gene transcription in the brain that result in impaired reward circuitry, as well as inflammatory processes. Dr. Marcondes’ latest study in a mouse model of neuroHIV, investigated the effect of the combination of Tat expression in the brain with Meth sensitization on global gene expression changes in the caudate putamen, which is an area known for its relevance to behavior and HIV-induced pathogenesis. It was observed that Meth-induced sensitization alone induced a global transcriptional suppression, and that this suppression was prevented by the interaction between Tat and Meth. Furthermore, the interaction between Tat and Meth resulted in maintaining regulatory pathways that may be involved in transcription.

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