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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

Neurology: Possible `Alternate Receptor' for HIV


Washington Post (08/12/91), P. A2

AIDS not only depletes the immune system but can also devastate the nervous system. More than 60 percent of patients with AIDS develop neurological symptoms and between 3 percent and 5 percent develop AIDS dementia. These patients exhibit forgetfulness, slurred speech, clumsiness, lack of concentration, and in more extreme cases, movement disorder, incoherence, paranoia, and other psychological symptoms. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have discovered that cells in the nervous system lack CD4, which is the only known receptor for HIV, and have a "receptor site" where HIV plunges into nerve cells. The researchers, led by Francisco Gonzalez-Scarano, discovered that a viral molecule known as gp120 will bind to another molecule, galactosyl-ceramide, that lives on the surface of oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells of the nervous system. These cells produce myelin, which insulates surrounding nerve cells. Any disruption of these cells could yeild AIDS dementia, the researchers said.


Copyright © 1991 -CDC Prevention News Update, Publisher. All rights reserved to Information, Inc., Bethesda, MD. The CDC National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention provides the following information as a public service only. Providing synopses of key scientific articles and lay media reports on HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis does not constitute CDC endorsement. This daily update also includes information from CDC and other government agencies, such as background on Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) articles, fact sheets, press releases and announcements. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however, copies may not be sold, and the CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update should be cited as the source of the information. Contact the sources of the articles abstracted below for full texts of the articles.

Information in this article was accurate in August 12, 1991. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.