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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1991 Jul 31;178(2):563-9.

1-beta-D-ribofuranosyl-1,2,4-triazole-3-carboxamide (ribavirin) and 5-ethynyl-1-beta-D-ribofuranosylimidazole-4-carboxamide (EICAR) markedly potentiate the inhibitory effect of 2',3'-dideoxyinosine on human immunodeficiency virus in peripheral blood lymphocytes.

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Rega Institute for Medical Research, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium.


Ribavirin and EICAR are two antiviral agents that share a similar antiviral activity spectrum and are targeted at inosine 5'-monophosphate (IMP) dehydrogenase. Neither ribavirin nor EICAR inhibit the replication of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in peripheral blood lymphocyte cells (PBL) at subtoxic concentrations. However, both compounds markedly potentiate the anti-HIV activity of 2',3'-dideoxyinosine (DDI) in PBL cells without a marked increase of toxicity. Both the increased IMP levels and the decreased guanine nucleotide levels caused by ribavirin and EICAR may be responsible for their potentiating effect on the anti-HIV activity of DDI.

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