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

Antiviral effect of arginine against herpes simplex virus type 1.

We investigated the effects of arginine on the multiplication of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and the potential of arginine as an antiherpetic agent. Arginine suppressed the growth of HSV-1 concentration-dependently. Inhibition of HSV-1 by arginine leveled off at 50-60 mM, although the higher concentration was not suitable as an antiviral agent due to cytotoxicity. 'Time of addition' experiments revealed that arginine was particularly effective when added within 6 h post-infection (h p.i.), suggesting that the reagent sensitive step is in the early stages of the infection. A one-step growth curve of HSV-1 in the presence of 30 mM arginine revealed that: i) the latent period was significantly extended, ii) the rate of formation of progeny infectious virus decreased and iii) the final yield of progeny virus decreased to 1%. The addition of arginine at 8 h p.i., after the completion of viral DNA replication in the virus multiplication, allowed the normal formation of progeny virus in the subsequent 4 h, confirming that arginine does not directly interfere with the formation of progeny infectious virus. In addition, arginine also inhibits several RNA viruses.[1]


  1. Antiviral effect of arginine against herpes simplex virus type 1. Naito, T., Irie, H., Tsujimoto, K., Ikeda, K., Arakawa, T., Koyama, A.H. Int. J. Mol. Med. (2009) [Pubmed]
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