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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Imexon and biological response modifiers in murine models of AIDS.

The Rauscher murine leukemia retrovirus system provides an in vivo model of the human acquired immune deficiency syndrome for testing the ability of antiviral agents and biological response modifiers (BRM) to suppress viremia and retroviral disease. In the present report we examined three agents in the Rauscher retrovirus model: imexon, Ampligen and poly[I,C]-LC. Imexon reduced splenomegaly, viremia, and serum reverse transcriptase levels even when treatment was not initiated until 7 days after virus infection. Imexon also significantly prolonged the survival of infected mice. Thus it proved to be an effective antiviral agent in this system, although imexon did not completely eliminate retroviral infection in treated mice. Poly[I,C]-LC and Ampligen had immunomodulatory effects. Both of these BRM augmented the cytolytic activity of splenic natural killer (NK) cells in infected animals when treatment was initiated 24 h after infection. Poly[I,C]-LC had antiretroviral activity when administered on this schedule. In order to examine the role of NK cell augmentation in the antiviral activity of poly[I,C]-LC, we attempted to deplete NK activity by treatment with rabbit antibody to asialo GM1, a ganglioside on the surface of murine NK cells. Combined treatment of infected mice with poly[I,C]-LC and anti-asialo GM1 decreased the antiviral activity of poly[I,C]-LC. This finding suggests that NK cells may be involved in the antiviral effect of this BRM.[1]


  1. Imexon and biological response modifiers in murine models of AIDS. Chirigos, M.A., Ussery, M.A., Black, P.L. Int. J. Immunopharmacol. (1991) [Pubmed]
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