Intracellular GSH content and HIV replication in human macrophages

Enrico Garaci, Anna T. Palamara, Maria R. Ciriolo, Cartesio D'Agostini, Mohamed S. Ab Del-Latif, Stefano Aquaro, Emanuela Lafavia, Giuseppe Rotilio

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In vitro HIV-1 infection induced a significant decrease in intracellular reduced glutathione (GSH) in human macrophages. Such a decrease was observed at the time of infection corresponding to maximum release of virus from infected cells and was not related to cell cytotoxicity. GSH loss was not related to its oxidation or leakage through the cell membrane. Inhibition of intracellular GSH synthesis by buthionine sulfoximine (BSO) did not further decrease GSH levels with respect to the decrease caused by HIV alone. However, treatment of macrophages with BSO significantly increased the HIV yield in the supernatant. Exogenous GSH strongly suppressed the production of p24 gag protein as well as the virus infectivity. Previous observations with other RNA and DNA viruses consistently showed that GSH antiviral effect occurred at late stages of virus replication and was related to the selective decrease of specific glycoproteins, such as gp120, which are particularly rich in disulfide bonds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-59
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1997


  • Antioxidants
  • Glutathione
  • HIV
  • Redox state
  • Reducing agents
  • Virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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