The success of antiretroviral therapy (ART) has improved the survival of HIV-infected patients significantly. However, significant numbers of patients on ART whose HIV disease is well controlled show peripheral sensory neuropathy (PSN), suggesting that ART may cause PSN.
Although the nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), one of the vital components of ART, are thought to contribute to PSN, the mechanisms underlying the PSN induced by NRTIs are unclear. In this study, we developed a Drosophila model of NRTI-induced PSN that recapitulates the salient features observed in patients undergoing ART: PSN and nociceptive hypersensitivity.
Furthermore, our data demonstrate that pathways known to suppress PSN induced by chemotherapeutic drugs are ineffective in suppressing the PSN or nociception induced by NRTIs. Instead, we found that increased dynamics of a peripheral sensory neuron may underlie NRTI-induced PSN and nociception. Our model provides a solid platform in which to investigate further mechanisms of ART-induced PSN and nociceptive hypersensitivity.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience