Imperial College London

Professor Paul M. Matthews

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Brain Sciences

Edmond and Lily Safra Chair, Head of Department



+44 (0)20 7594 2855p.matthews




Ms Siobhan Dillon +44 (0)20 7594 2855




E502Burlington DanesHammersmith Campus






BibTex format

author = {Vera, JH and Guo, Q and Cole, JH and Boasso, A and Greathead, L and Kelleher, P and Rabiner, EA and Kalk, N and Bishop, C and Gunn, RN and Matthews, PM and Winston, A},
doi = {10.1212/WNL.0000000000002485},
journal = {Neurology},
pages = {1425--1432},
title = {Neuroinflammation in treated HIV-positive individuals: A TSPO PET study.},
url = {},
volume = {86},
year = {2016}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - OBJECTIVE: To explore the effects of microglial activation on brain function and structure, and its relationship with peripheral inflammatory markers, in treated, HIV-positive individuals, using in vivo [(11)C]PBR28 PET (to measure the 18 kDa translocator protein [TSPO]). METHODS: Cognitively healthy HIV-positive individuals on suppressive antiretroviral therapy and HIV-negative individuals (controls) underwent brain [(11)C]PBR28 PET and MRI. HIV-positive patients completed neuropsychological testing and CSF testing for chemokines. The concentration of bacterial ribosomal 16sDNA in plasma was measured as a marker of microbial translocation. RESULTS: HIV-positive individuals showed global increases in TSPO expression compared to controls (corrected p < 0.01), with significant regional increases in the parietal (p = 0.001) and occipital (p = 0.046) lobes and in the globus pallidus (p = 0.035). TSPO binding in the hippocampus, amygdala, and thalamus were associated with poorer global cognitive performance in tasks assessing verbal and visual memory (p < 0.05). Increased TSPO binding was associated with increased brain white matter diffusion MRI mean diffusivity in HIV-positive individuals, a lower CD4/CD8 ratio, and both high pretreatment HIV RNA and plasma concentration ribosomal 16s DNA (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Cognitively healthy HIV-positive individuals show evidence for a chronically activated brain innate immune response and elevated blood markers of microbial translocation despite effective control of plasma viremia. Increased brain inflammation is associated with poorer cognitive performance and white matter microstructural pathology, suggesting a possible role in cognitive impairments found in some HIV-positive patients despite effective treatment.
AU - Vera,JH
AU - Guo,Q
AU - Cole,JH
AU - Boasso,A
AU - Greathead,L
AU - Kelleher,P
AU - Rabiner,EA
AU - Kalk,N
AU - Bishop,C
AU - Gunn,RN
AU - Matthews,PM
AU - Winston,A
DO - 10.1212/WNL.0000000000002485
EP - 1432
PY - 2016///
SN - 1526-632X
SP - 1425
TI - Neuroinflammation in treated HIV-positive individuals: A TSPO PET study.
T2 - Neurology
UR -
UR -
VL - 86
ER -