Dextran Sulfate as an Inhibitor against the Human Immunodeficiency Virus

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Dextran sulfate (DS) is a potent inhibitor of the growth of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in the H9 cell. Its minimal inhibitory concentration is about 1 μg/ml. Its therapeutic index is ≥200 which is higher than that of 38 for zidovudine. At the ID100 range, DS blocks the synthesis of HIV-1 antigens completely for at least 21 days; zidovudine at the subtoxic concentration of 3 μg/ml is incapable of achieving such a complete blockage. DS is still active when added to H9 cell cultures 4 hr after the addition of HIV-1. DS does not inactivate extracellular HIV-1 and is incapable of inducing interferons. It interferes partially with the infection of the H9 cells by the HIV-1. It inhibits the activity of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase. These activities may account, at least in part, for the inhibitory activity of dextran sulfate against the HIV-1. DS has a narrow antiviral spectrum; it is noninhibitory to the herpes simplex, vesicular stomatitis, polio, or adeno viruses. Dextran is not inhibitory to HIV-1. After sulfonation, the sulfonated dextran is highly inhibitory. Therefore, the sulfate group in the DS molecule appears to be essential for its anti-HIV-1 activity. The molecular weights of DS within the range 4000 to 12,000 do not appear to influence its anti-HIV potency. © 1988, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.

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Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine

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