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Presentation date


College, Institute, or Department

Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience

Faculty Mentor

Siddappa Byrareddy

Research Mentor

Siddappa Byrareddy


Background: Pericyte cells are an integral component of the vascular system and blood-brain barrier. HIV infection has been shown to impact both pericytes and the blood-brain barrier. Similarly, drugs of abuse have been found to alter blood-brain barrier permeability. Drugs of abuse and HIV infection comorbidity may affect pericyte function and viral replication.

Methods: Pericyte cells were treated with varying concentrations of either morphine, cocaine, or methamphetamine to determine cytotoxicity. Next, two concentrations were chosen and infected with macrophage tropic SHIV-BORI159N4. Viral supernatant was collected every three days for analysis viral titer using qPCR and other inflammatory markers.

Results: Drug treatment appeared to impact viral replication in pericyte cells. Most drug treatments produced lower viral titers, except for the methamphetamine at 10μM concentration treatment.

Conclusion: Drugs of abuse may impact how HIV infection affects pericyte cells, though underlying mechanisms are still not well-defined. Various classes of drugs may differentially alter viral replication within pericyte cells.


HIV, pericytes, macrophages, CNS, drugs of abuse

Combined Effects of Drugs of Abuse and HIV Infection Comorbidity on Primary Pericytes