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Plasma gelsolin protects HIV-1 gp120-Induced neuronal injury via voltage-gated K(+) channel Kv2.1.

Han Liu, Jianuo Liu, Shangdong Liang, Huangui Xiong

Mol. Cell. Neurosci., 2013 Oct 24 , ,

Plasma gelsolin (pGSN), a secreted form of gelsolin, is constitutively expressed throughout the central nervous system (CNS). Neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes are the major sources of pGSN in the CNS. It has been shown that levels of pGSN in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) are decreased in several neurological conditions including HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). Although there is no direct evidence that a decreased level of pGSN in CSF is causally related to the pathogenesis of neurological disorders, neural cells, if lacking pGSN, are more vulnerable to cell death. To understand how GSN levels relate to neuronal injury in HAND, we studied the effects of pGSN on HIV-1 gp120-activated outward K(+) currents in primary rat cortical neuronal cultures. Incubation of rat cortical neurons with gp120 enhanced the outward K(+) currents induced by voltage steps and resulted in neuronal apoptosis. Treatment with pGSN suppressed the gp120-induced increase of delayed rectifier current (IK) and reduced vulnerability to gp120-induced neuronal apoptosis. Application of Guangxitoxin-1E (GxTx), a Kv2.1 specific channel inhibitor, inhibited gp120 enhancement of IK and associated neuronal apoptosis, similar effects to pGSN. Western blot and PCR analysis revealed gp120 exposure to up-regulate Kv2.1 channel expression, which was also inhibited by treatment with pGSN. Taken together, these results indicate pGSN protects neurons by suppressing gp120 enhancement of IK through Kv2.1 channels and reduction of pGSN in HIV-1-infected brain may contribute to HIV-1-associated neuropathy.