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Papers of the Week

Papers: 10 Feb 2024 - 16 Feb 2024

2024 Jan 26

Int J Mol Sci




Chronic Morphine Treatment and Antiretroviral Therapy Exacerbate HIV-Distal Sensory Peripheral Neuropathy and Induce Distinct Microbial Alterations in the HIV Tg26 Mouse Model.


Antoine D, Chupikova I, Jalodia R, Singh PK, Roy S


Distal Sensory Peripheral Neuropathy (DSP) is a common complication in HIV-infected individuals, leading to chronic pain and reduced quality of life. Even with antiretroviral therapy (ART), DSP persists, often prompting the use of opioid analgesics, which can paradoxically worsen symptoms through opioid-induced microbial dysbiosis. This study employs the HIV Tg26 mouse model to investigate HIV-DSP development and assess gut microbiome changes in response to chronic morphine treatment and ART using 16S rRNA sequencing. Our results reveal that chronic morphine and ART exacerbate HIV-DSP in Tg26 mice, primarily through mechanical pain pathways. As the gut microbiome may be involved in chronic pain persistence, microbiome analysis indicated distinct bacterial community changes between WT and Tg26 mice as well as morphine- and ART-induced microbial changes in the Tg26 mice. This study reveals the Tg26 mouse model to be a relevant system that can help elucidate the pathogenic mechanisms of the opioid- and ART-induced exacerbation of HIV-associated pain. Our results shed light on the intricate interplay between HIV infection, ART, opioid use, and the gut microbiome in chronic pain development. They hold implications for understanding the mechanisms underlying HIV-associated pain and microbial dysbiosis, with potential for future research focused on prevention and treatment strategies.