The persistence of HIV in the central nervous system leads to cognitive deficits in up to 50% of people living with HIV even with systemic suppression by antiretroviral treatment. The interaction of chronic inflammation with age-associated degeneration places these individuals at increased risk of accelerated aging and other neurodegenerative diseases and no treatments are available that effectively halt these processes. The adverse effects of aging and inflammation may be mediated, in part, by an increase in the expression of the p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) which shifts the balance of neurotrophin signaling toward less protective pathways. To determine if modulation of p75NTR could modify the disease process, we treated HIV gp120 transgenic mice with a small molecule ligand designed to engage p75NTR and downregulate degenerative signaling. Daily treatment with 50?mg/kg LM11A-31 for 4?months suppressed age- and genotype-dependent activation of microglia, reduced expression of p75NTR, increased microtubule associated protein-2 (MAP-2), reduced dendritic varicosities and slowed the loss of parvalbumin immunoreactive neurons in the hippocampus. An age related accumulation of microtubule associated protein Tau was identified in the hippocampus in extracellular clusters that co-expressed p75NTR suggesting a link between Tau and p75NTR. Although the significance of the relationship between p75NTR and Tau is unclear, a decrease in Tau-1 immunoreactivity as gp120 mice entered old age (>16?months) suggests that the Tau may transition to more pathological modifications; a process blocked by LM11A-31. Overall, the effects of LM11A-31 are consistent with strong neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory actions that have significant therapeutic potential.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.expneurol.2020.113489
View details for PubMedID 33007293