In vitro activity of inhibitors of late stages of the replication of HIV in chronically infected macrophages

C. F. Perno, S. Aquaro, B. Rosenwirth, E. Balestra, P. Peichl, A. Billich, N. Villani, R. Calio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Because of the importance of macrophages in the pathogenesis of the disease caused by HIV, we investigated the efficacy of various anti-HIV drugs in human primary macrophages acutely or chronically infected by this virus. The results obtained for acutely infected macrophages show that dideoxynucleosides (AZT, ddI, and ddC), interferon-α and -γ, mismatched double-stranded RNA, Tat inhibitor, phosphorothioate antisense, and inhibitors of HIV protease, all significantly inhibit virus replication at concentrations far below those toxic for the cells. However, in macrophages in which proviral DNA is already integrated (chronically infected macrophages), only the three inhibitors of HIV protease induced significant virus inhibition at concentrations 100 or more times higher than those effective in acutely infected macrophages. Treatment of macrophages with macrophage colony-stimulating factor does not affect the anti-HIV efficacy of protease inhibitors. These results suggest that therapeutic strategies with activity for macrophages, including inhibitors of HIV protease, are worth pursuing in patients with HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-386
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • chronic infection
  • compounds
  • drugs
  • HIV
  • macrophages
  • protease inhibitors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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