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Increased cerebrospinal fluid ganglioside GM1 concentrations indicating neuronal involvement in all stages of HIV-1 infection

Journal article
Authors Magnus Gisslén
Lars Hagberg
Gunnar Norkrans
Annika Lekman
Pam Fredman
Published in J Neurovirol
Volume 3
Issue 2
Pages 148-52
Publication year 1997
Published at Institute of Internal Medicine, Dept of Infectious Diseases
Institute of Clinical Neurosciences, Section of Neurological Diseases
Pages 148-52
Language en
Keywords AIDS Dementia Complex/cerebrospinal fluid, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/cerebrospinal fluid, Adult, Disease Progression, G(M1) Ganglioside/*cerebrospinal fluid, Gangliosides/cerebrospinal fluid, HIV Infections/*cerebrospinal fluid, Humans
Subject categories Microbiology in the medical area


Measurements of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) concentrations of gangliosides can be used as markers of central nervous system (CNS) neuronal involvement. We have analysed the CSF concentrations of the four major brain gangliosides GM1, GD1a, GD1b, and GT1b at different stages of HIV-1 infection. CSF samples were collected from 44 HIV-1-infected patients and from 24 HIV-negative, healthy controls. A significantly higher mean CSF concentration of the ganglioside GM1 was found in HIV-1-infected patients than in HIV-negative controls (27 and 19 nmol/l, respectively, P<0.01). The HIV-infected patients also had a higher mean GM1 proportion of the total ganglioside concentration (11% compared with 8.5%, P < 0.01). Nine out of 27 patients with asymptomatic HIV-1 infection, three of ten with AIDS without neurological complications, and three of seven with AIDS dementia complex had CSF GM1 concentrations above the mean+2SD in the HIV-negative control group. Conclusion: Biochemical signs of ongoing neuronal involvement could be found in about one third of HIV-1-infected patients. The same frequency was found regardless of stage, although the highest levels of CSF gangliosides were found in patients with AIDS.

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