Sensory evoked potentials in SIV-infected monkeys with rapidly and slowly progressing disease
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) infects the central nervous system (CNS) early in the course of disease progression and leads to some form of neurological disease in 40-60% of cases. Both symptomatic and asymptomatic HIV-infected subjects also show abnormalities in evoked potentials. As part of an effort to further validate an animal model of the neurological disease associated with lentiviral infection, we recorded multimodal sensory evoked potentials (EPs) from nine rhesus macaques infected with passaged strains of SIVmac (R71/E17), prior to and at 1 month intervals following inoculation. The latencies of forelimb and hindlimb somatosensory evoked potentials (SEP) and flash visual evoked potentials (VEP) were measured. Within 14 weeks of inoculation, all but two animals had progressed to end-stage disease (rapid progressors). The two animals with slowly progressing disease (AQ15 and AQ94) had postinoculation life spans of 109 and 87 weeks, respectively. No significant changes were observed in evoked potentials recorded during the control period or at any time in the animals with slowly progressing disease. However, all of the monkeys with rapidly progressing disease exhibited increases in latency for at least one evoked potential type. The overall mean increases in somatosensory and visual evoked potential peak latencies for the rapid progressors were 22.4 and 25.3%, respectively. For comparison, the changes in slow progressors were not significant (1.8 and -1.9%, respectively). These results, coupled with our previous finding of slowed motor evoked potentials in the same cohort of macaques (Raymond et al.: J Neurovirol 1999;5:217-231), demonstrate a broad and somewhat variable pattern of viral injury to both sensory and motor system structures, resembling the findings in HIV-infected humans. These results coupled with our earlier work demonstrating cognitive and motor behavioral impairments in the same monkeys support the use of the SIVmac-infected rhesus macaque as a model of AIDS-related neurological disease.