Cytokine levels in CSF and neuropsychological performance in HIV patients

Thorsten Nolting, Antje Lindecke, Hans Peter Hartung, Eleni Koutsilieri, Matthias Maschke, Ingo W. Husstedt, Sieghart Sopper, Olaf Stüve, Gabriele Arendt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


HIV-associated dementia and its precursors are frequently observed complications of HIV infection, even in the presence of combination antiretroviral treatment (cART). The development, surveillance and treatment of this condition are still not completely understood. Cytokines, as immunological transmitters, may be one key to gaining a deeper understanding of the disease. A total of 33 HIV-positive male patients were evaluated by neuropsychological testing, lumbar and venous puncture, neuroimaging and neurological examination. The cytokine content in the CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) was examined by a solid-phase protein array. The Digit- Symbol Test, contraction time analysis, Rey-Osterrieth Figure and Grooved-Pegboard Test showed inferior results in the presence of an inflammatory CSF environment, whereas neuroprotective or anti-inflammatory conditions were correlated to better results in contraction time analysis. Higher CSF levels of cytokines were independently correlated with the duration of HIV infection. The study showed a correlation of cytokine levels in the CSF of HIV patients with test results of their neuropsychological functioning. The effect was pronounced with regard to the more complex executive tasks. Determining CSF cytokine levels may be a useful SUPPL.ement to the assessment of HIV patients and contribute helpful information to predict neurocognitive performance. Therapeutic strategies to ameliorate a negative impact of an altered cytokine milieu may aid in slowing the evolution of neurocognitive dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-161
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of NeuroVirology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Cytokines
  • HIV. Neurocognition
  • Inflammation
  • Neuropsychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Virology


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