Dr. Cecilia Marcondes Ph.D. publishes on “Detection of H3K4me3 identifies neuroHIV signatures, genomic effects of methamphetamine and addiction pathways in postmortem HIV+ brain specimens that are not amenable to transcriptome analysis”

Methamphetamine (Meth) usage is common among people infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). To study the impact of Meth in those who are HIV+ many scientists analyze RNA, which are messages sent to build specific proteins in cells. This helps scientists to gather in-depth information on molecular pathways, biological processes, and how brain cells can be damaged by drug use. However, there is a limited number of high-quality RNA specimens that are responsive to this type of analysis because of the time taken for postmortem samples to be collected and preserved properly.

In a recent study, SDBRI’s Dr. Cecilia Marcondes and Dr. Liana Basova, sought new strategies to extract information from specimens damaged by long postmortem intervals. They examined epigenetic mechanisms which help to control RNA production and carry important regulatory signatures. Drs. Marcondes, Basova and their team found that this method allowed them to collect the necessary information to learn more about neurological and inflammatory processes associated with HIV and Meth use. These new methods can be used to learn about other neurological conditions and chronic disorders in a larger number of specimens including COVID-19.

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