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Antiviral Res. 2002 Aug;55(2):319-29.

Evidence of dual sites of action of dendrimers: SPL-2999 inhibits both virus entry and late stages of herpes simplex virus replication.

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Viridae Clinical Sciences, Inc., 1134 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6Z 1Y8.


Dendrimers are macromolecules with broad-spectrum antiviral activity and minimal toxicity effective in animal models in preventing transmission of herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection. In order to further understand the mechanism of action, and toxicity profiles of the dendrimer SPL-2999 against HSV, we investigated in vitro activities as follows: modified plaque reduction assays for SPL-2999 showed that 50% effective concentrations (EC(50)) determined by pre-treatment of cells with SPL-2999 were 0.5 microg/ml (30 nM) for HSV-2 and 1 microg/ml (60 nM) for HSV-1, respectively. SPL-2999 was not toxic to Vero cells at concentration up to the highest tested (CC(50) greater than 1000 microg/ml). SPL-2999 appears to completely inhibit both viral adsorption and penetration to Vero cells at concentrations of higher than 3 microg/ml. Additionally, virus yield reduction assay showed that SPL-2999 was effective on cells already infected with HSV with EC(90)s (effective concentration giving 90% virus yield reduction) approximately 29.2 microg/ml for HSV-1 and 6.7 microg/ml for HSV-2. When Vero cells were infected with HSV at moi (multiplicity of infection) of 0.01 pfu/cell, the infected cells could be completely protected from viral cytopathic effect (CPE) by SPL-2999 with EC(90)s (effective concentration that protects 90% of cells from virus lysis) of 15 microg/ml for HSV-1 and 10 microg/ml for HSV-2. Results from Southern blot hybridization indicated that SPL-2999 inhibited DNA synthesis in HSV infected cells. We conclude that SPL-2999 inhibits both HSV entry into susceptible cells and late stages of HSV replication. Our data indicate that SPL-2999 is a potent inhibitor of both HSV-1 and -2 with the potential for further development as either a topical microbicide or a therapeutic agent.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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