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Antivir Ther. 2008;13(2):199-209.

Retinoic acid analogues inhibit human herpesvirus 8 replication.

Author information

1
Section of Microbiology, Department of Experimental and Diagnostic Medicine, University of Ferrara, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Retinoids have a pronounced antiviral effect against several viruses. In this study we aimed to investigate the effect of retinoids on human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8).

METHODS:

A panel of retinoic acid compounds were tested for their antiviral activity against HHV-8 in human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (HUVECs) and in a human epithelial cell line. The presence, transcription and antigen expression of HHV-8 in infected cells - in the presence or absence of retinoic acid compounds - were evaluated by PCR, reverse transcriptase PCR and immunofluorescence assays; HHV-8 viral load was determined by real-time quantitative PCR. Angiogenesis induced by HHV-8 was also assessed using Cultrex basement membrane extract.

RESULTS:

The compounds tested specifically inhibited viral promoters, during the early and late phases of infection in both cell systems tested, and resulted in up to 100-fold reduction of viral titre and release of progeny virus. The inhibition of viral replication induced by retinoids in endothelial cells, the primary target of HHV-8-driven transformation in Kaposi's Sarcoma, prevented endothelial cells from developing spindle morphology and in vitro tube formation, characteristic changes associated with HHV-8 infection and transformation.

CONCLUSIONS:

We show that retinoids inhibit HHV-8 replication and identify new retinoid compounds with a strong antiviral effect. Selective retinoids, particularly those with retinoic acid receptor agonist activity, may be good candidates for the development of antiviral drugs.

PMID:
18505171
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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