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Peptides. 2003 Jul;24(7):1093-8.

Antiviral and immunological benefits in HIV patients receiving intranasal peptide T (DAPTA).

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Leukocyte Biology Section, Center for Cancer Research, NCI-FCRDC, Frederick, MD 21702, USA.


D-Ala-Peptide T-amide (DAPTA), the first viral entry inhibitor, blocks chemokine (CCR5) receptors, not CD4. Early investigators could not "replicate" DAPTAs potent in vitro antiviral effect using the lab-adapted, X4, peptide T-insensitive strain, IIIB, delaying clinical virological studies. We now report that DAPTA, administered to eleven long-term infected (mean=17 years) patients with stable persistent plasma "virus" for up to 32 weeks did not change this level. Infectious virus could not be isolated from their plasma suggesting HIV RNA was devoid of replicative capacity. Progressively less actual virus (P<0.01) could be isolated from white blood cells (PBMCs). DAPTA flushed the monocyte reservoir to undetectable viral levels in most patients. Five of eleven had a mean CD4 increase of 33%. Immune benefits also included a four-fold increase in gamma-interferon-secreting T-cells (antiviral cytotoxic T-cells) in the absence of drug-related toxicity. All five CD4 responders had increases in antiviral T cells and decreases in infected monocytes, an argument for initiating further studies promptly.

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