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J Infect Dis. 1994 Nov;170(5):1165-71.

Zidovudine and dideoxycytidine differ in their effects on human immunodeficiency virus-induced pathologic activation of the immune system. AIDS Clinical Trial Research Group 047.

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Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Immunology and Disease, School of Medicine, UCLA 90024-1747.


When zidovudine and dideoxycytidine (ddC) were given on schedules of 1 week on drug and 1 week off, results differed substantially in effects on HIV (human immunodeficiency virus type 1)-induced immune activation. Zidovudine (200 mg every 4 h) caused marked lowering toward normal of serum neopterin and beta 2-microglobulin within 1 week. This effect was lost within 1 week off zidovudine. Intermittent ddC (0.03 mg/kg every 4 h) had a smaller 1-week effect but had a delayed cumulative suppressive effect on HIV-associated immune activation that was not seen with intermittent zidovudine therapy. Zidovudine and ddC given in alternating weeks had synergistic effects in the first 10 weeks (e.g., early and rapid reduction followed by cumulatively greater effects on immune cell activation). The identical sawtooth effect of intermittent zidovudine was also evident in serum HIV p24 antigen levels. This is consistent with the hypothesis that the increased serum levels of the immune activation markers seen in HIV infection reflect stimulatory effects of HIV viral components on immune system cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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