Drosophila model of anti-retroviral therapy induced peripheral neuropathy and nociceptive hypersensitivity

Keegan M. Bush, Kara R. Barber, Jade A. Martinez, Shao Jun Tang, Yogesh Wairkar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Jun 20 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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