Faculty Advisor

Adams, David S.


HIV- associated dementia (HAD) is a common central nervous disorder that occurs in the late stage of HIV-1 infection. The mechanisms of how HIV-1 induces HAD are poorly understood. Direct injury to neurons might result from viral proteins, while indirect injury to neurons could occur through toxins released by microglia, macrophages, and astrocytes. In this project we show that TRAF6 protein is a mediator of the CD40 signaling pathway in macrophages, and that products released by macrophages upon stimulation by CD40L are neurotoxic. Fractionation of supernatants from CD40L-stimulated macrophages showed that the neurotoxic factor may be between 3-30 kD, and further tests demonstrated that the factor might be a protein or protein-associated.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2007


Biology and Biotechnology

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology