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

Inhibition of herpes simplex virus replication by retinoic acid.

The retinoic acid (RA) isomers all-trans-RA, 9-cis-RA and 13-cis-RA as well as other retinoids were tested for their ability to reduce the yield of herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1). RA isomers reduced HSV-1 replication whereas the other retinoids, retinol, retinal, beta-carotene and amide derivatives of RA were not inhibitory. All-trans-RA reduced the yield of HSV-1 by 100-fold at 5 micrograms/ml but 9-cis-RA and 13-cis-RA reduced viral replication by 10-fold. At a concentration of 10 micrograms/ml all-trans-RA and 9-cis-RA reduced virus yield by 1000-fold while 13-cis-RA decreased HSV-1 production by 100-fold. RA isomers at a concentration of 10 micrograms/ml were not cytotoxic for the Vero cells used in these studies. Immunofluorescence studies showed that all-trans-RA treated cell cultures exhibited small foci of virus specific immunostaining while untreated cultures displayed intense HSV-1 immunoreactivity in virtually the entire cell population. RA-dependent inhibition of HSV-1 replication required the presence of RA with the virus. HSV-1 replication proceeded when RA was removed from infected cells. Treatment of cell cultures with RA did not induce gene expression for type-1 interferon ( IFN) or for the type-1 IFN inducible genes studied suggesting that RA inhibition of HSV-1 replication is not mediated by IFN. These studies have established the ability of RA to reduce the replication of HSV-1 in vitro.[1]


  1. Inhibition of herpes simplex virus replication by retinoic acid. Isaacs, C.E., Kascsak, R., Pullarkat, R.K., Xu, W., Schneidman, K. Antiviral Res. (1997) [Pubmed]
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