IL-10 mediated by herpes simplex virus vector reduces neuropathic pain induced by HIV gp120 combined with ddC in rats

Wenwen Zheng, Wan Huang, Shue Liu, Roy C. Levitt, Keith A. Candiotti, David Lubarsky, Shuanglin Hao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: HIV-associated sensory neuropathy affects over 50% of HIV patients and is a common peripheral nerve complication of HIV infection and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Evidence shows that painful HIV sensory neuropathy is influenced by neuroinflammatory events that include the proinflammatory molecules, MAP Kinase, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα), stromal cell-derived factor 1-α (SDF1α), and C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4). However, the exact mechanisms of painful HIV sensory neuropathy are not known, which hinders our ability to develop effective treatments. In this study, we investigated whether inhibition of proinflammatory factors reduces the HIV-associated neuropathic pain state.Results: Neuropathic pain was induced by peripheral HIV coat protein gp120 combined with 2′,3′-dideoxycytidine (ddC, one of the nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs)). Mechanical threshold was tested using von Frey filament fibers. Non-replicating herpes simplex virus (HSV) vectors expressing interleukin 10 (IL10) were inoculated into the hindpaws of rats. The expression of TNFα, SDF1α, and CXCR4 in the lumbar spinal cord and L4/5 dorsal root ganglia (DRG) was examined using western blots. IL-10 expression mediated by the HSV vectors resulted in a significant elevation of mechanical threshold. The anti-allodynic effect of IL-10 expression mediated by the HSV vectors lasted more than 3 weeks. The area under the effect-time curves (AUC) in mechanical threshold in rats inoculated with the HSV vectors expressing IL-10, was increased compared with the control vectors, indicating antinociceptive effect of the IL-10 vectors. The HSV vectors expressing IL-10 also concomitantly reversed the upregulation of p-p38, TNFα, SDF1α, and CXCR4 induced by gp120 in the lumbar spinal dorsal horn and/or the DRG at 2 and/or 4 weeks.Conclusion: The blocking of the signaling of these proinflammatory molecules is able to reduce HIV-related neuropathic pain, which provide a novel mechanism-based approach to treating HIV-associated neuropathic pain using gene therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number49
JournalMolecular Pain
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 30 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • and Gene therapy
  • ddC
  • gp120
  • HIV
  • IL-10
  • Neuropathic pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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