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AIDS. 1992 Aug;6(8):815-9.

Glutathione depletion in HIV-infected patients: role of cysteine deficiency and effect of oral N-acetylcysteine.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Medizinische Poliklinik, University of Bern, Switzerland.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether a single oral dose of N-acetylcysteine corrects the deficiency of cysteine and glutathione in plasma and mononuclear cells of HIV-infected patients.

DESIGN:

Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic study.

METHODS:

Cysteine and glutathione were measured in plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells of patients at different stages of HIV infection before and after a single oral dose of N-acetylcysteine.

RESULTS:

At baseline, the plasma concentrations of glutathione and cysteine were significantly lower in HIV-infected patients than in healthy controls. The intracellular concentration of glutathione correlated with the absolute CD4 lymphocyte counts: the concentration of glutathione in mononuclear cells was significantly lower in patients with more advanced immunodeficiency. A single oral dose of N-acetylcysteine increased the concentration of cysteine in plasma and mononuclear cells of HIV-infected patients. Four hours after N-acetylcysteine administration, intracellular glutathione concentrations in the patients were moderately higher than at baseline and at 2 h.

CONCLUSIONS:

Oral N-acetylcysteine transiently increases the concentrations of cysteine and glutathione in mononuclear cells of patients with HIV infection. A sustained increase in intracellular cysteine may be necessary to normalize intracellular glutathione. This may be accomplished by repeat administration of N-acetylcysteine.

PMID:
1418777
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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