Antiviral activity of mismatched double-stranded RNA against human immunodeficiency virus in vitro.
The biological response modifier r(I)n.r(C12-U)n, referred to here as mismatched double-stranded (ds) RNA, was examined for antihuman immunodeficiency virus (HIV) activity in vitro because of its known antiviral activity and ability to induce interferon (IFN) in other biological systems [Carter, W. A., Strayer, D. R., Hubbell, H. R. & Brodsky, I. (1985) J. Biol. Response Modif. 4, 495-502]. We found that cultures of the highly HIV-permissive T-cell line C3 were afforded significant protection from HIV infection when incubated in growth media supplemented with mismatched dsRNA at 10-50 micrograms/ml prior to virus challenge. Similar results were obtained at 50 micrograms of mismatched dsRNA per ml in cultures of the T-lymphoblastoid cell line CEM. Infections were monitored by indirect immunofluorescence of cells for viral p24 antigen expression, reverse transcriptase activity in culture fluids for virus production, and vital dye uptake for cytopathic effect. Antiviral activity was increased by the continued presence of mismatched dsRNA in cultures following virus challenge. A one-time exposure to mismatched dsRNA (50 micrograms/ml) provided greater antiviral activity than either a one-time exposure to recombinant IFN-alpha [250 international units (IU)/ml], IFN-beta (250 IU/ml), or IFN-gamma (50 IU/ml) in cultures of CEM cells, or a one-time exposure to a combination of all three IFNs (150 IU each per ml) in cultures of C3 cells. Mismatched dsRNA at 50 micrograms/ml had no effect on cell division, RNA and protein synthesis, or virus replication in all T-cell lines examined. A clear distinction between the activities of mismatched dsRNA and IFN was the ability of IFN to suppress the in vitro replication of HIV that occurred at IFN concentrations (150 IU each of alpha, beta, and gamma per ml) that provided less antiviral activity than mismatched dsRNA (50 micrograms/ml). The results of these in vitro studies suggest a potential therapeutic value for mismatched dsRNA in the treatment of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Montefiori, DC; Mitchell, WM
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