There is increasing cumulative evidence that activated mononuclear phagocytes (macrophages/microglia) releasing inflammatory mediators in the CNS are a better correlate of HIV-associated dementia (HAD) than the actual viral load in the brain. Earlier studies on simian HIV/rhesus macaque model of NeuroAIDS confirmed that pathological changes in brains of macaques with encephalitis were associated with up-regulation of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and the chemokine, CXCL10. Because the complex interplay of inflammatory mediators released by macrophages often leads to the induction of neurotoxins in HAD, we hypothesized that PDGF could interact with IFN-gamma to modulate the expression of CXCL10 in these primary virus target cells. Although PDGF alone had no effect on the induction of CXCL10 in human macrophages, in conjunction with IFN-gamma, it significantly augmented the expression of CXCL10 RNA & protein through transcriptional and posttranscriptional mechanisms. Signaling molecules, such as JAK and STATs, PI3K, MAPK, and NF-kappaB were found to play a role in the synergistic induction of CXCL10. Furthermore, PDGF via its activation of p38 MAPK was able to increase the stability of IFN-gamma-induced CXCL10 mRNA. Understanding the mechanisms involved in the synergistic up-regulation of CXCL10 could aid in the development of therapeutic modalities for HAD.