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J Infect Dis. 1998 Aug;178(2):413-22.

Relative potency of protease inhibitors in monocytes/macrophages acutely and chronically infected with human immunodeficiency virus.

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HIV and AIDS Malignancy Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.


The activity of three human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) protease inhibitors was investigated in human primary monocytes/macrophages (M/M) chronically infected by HIV-1. Saquinavir, KNI-272, and ritonavir inhibited the replication of HIV-1 in vitro, with EC50s of approximately 0.5-3.3 microM. However, only partial inhibition was achievable, even at the highest concentrations tested. Also, the activity of these drugs in chronically infected M/M was approximately 7- to 26-fold lower than in acutely infected M/M and approximately 2- to 10-fold lower than in chronically infected H9 lymphocytes. When protease inhibitors were removed from cultures of chronically infected M/M, production of virus rapidly returned to the levels found in untreated M/M. Therefore, relatively high concentrations of protease inhibitors are required to suppress HIV-1 production in chronically infected macrophages, and such cells may be a vulnerable point for the escape of virus in patients taking these drugs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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