Myelin degrading activity in the CSF of HIV-1-infected patients with neurological diseases

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DEGRADATION of purified myelin basic protein (MBP) was studied by SDS gel electrophoresis after addition of CSF samples obtained from HIV-1-infected patients. An increase in MBP degradation was detected in patients with neurological complications, such as AIDS dementia complex (ADC) or progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), when compared with patients with no neurological symptoms (NA) or with other neurological opportunistic infections (OI). In the ADC, and PML patients, in addition to CSF proteolytic activity, an increase in CSF-MBP levels, and presence of white matter lesions were also observed by neuroimaging (MRI). In other opportunistic infections of the brain, MBP levels but not anti-MBP proteolytic activity increased. Results suggest the involvement of proteases in the virus-induced demyelination.

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