The pathogenesis of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) encephalopathy has been associated with multiple factors including the neurotoxin quinolinate (an endogenous N-methyl-D-aspartate [NMDA] receptor ligand) and viral proteins. The κ opioid receptor (KOR) agonist U50,488 recently has been shown to inhibit HIV-1 p24 antigen production in acutely infected microglial cell cultures. Using primary human brain cell cultures in the present study, we found that U50,488 also suppressed in a dose-dependent manner the neurotoxicity mediated by supernatants derived from HIV-1-infected microglia. This neuroprotective effect of U50,488 was blocked by the KOR selective antagonist nor-binaltorphimine. The neurotoxic activity of the supernatants from HIV-1-infected microglia was blocked by the NMDA receptor antagonists 2-amino-5-phosphonovalerate and MK-801. HIV-1 infection of microglial cell cultures induced the release of quinolinate, and U50,488 dose-dependently suppressed quinolinate release by infected microglial cell cultures with a corresponding inhibition of HIV-1 p24 antigen levels. These findings suggest that the kappa opioid ligand U50,488 may have therapeutic potential in HIV-1 encephalopathy by attenuating microglial cell production of the neurotoxin quinolinate and viral proteins. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported in part by United Public Health Service grants DA09924, DA04381, and T32-DA07239 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
- N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor