The Role of Pannexin-1 Channels in HIV and NeuroHIV Pathogenesis

Cristian A. Hernandez, Eugenin Eliseo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV) enters the brain shortly after infection, leading to long-term neurological complications in half of the HIV-infected population, even in the current anti-retroviral therapy (ART) era. Despite decades of research, no biomarkers can objectively measure and, more importantly, predict the onset of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. Several biomarkers have been proposed; however, most of them only reflect late events of neuronal damage. Our laboratory recently identified that ATP and PGE2, inflammatory molecules released through Pannexin-1 channels, are elevated in the serum of HIV-infected individuals compared to uninfected individuals and other inflammatory diseases. More importantly, high circulating ATP levels, but not PGE2, can predict a decline in cognition, suggesting that HIV-infected individuals have impaired ATP metabolism and associated signaling. We identified that Pannexin-1 channel opening contributes to the high serological ATP levels, and ATP in the circulation could be used as a biomarker of HIV-associated cognitive impairment. In addition, we believe that ATP is a major contributor to chronic inflammation in the HIV-infected population, even in the anti-retroviral era. Here, we discuss the mechanisms associated with Pannexin-1 channel opening within the circulation, as well as within the resident viral reservoirs, ATP dysregulation, and cognitive disease observed in the HIV-infected population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2245
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • biomarker
  • comorbidities
  • cure
  • dementia
  • purinergic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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