N-Acetylcysteine inhibits apoptosis and decreases viral particles in HIV-chronically infected U937 cells

Walter Malorni, Roberto Rivabene, Maria Teresa Santini, Gianfranco Donelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Apoptosis or programmed cell death (PCD) is a type of death occurring in various physiological processes. Several data suggest that: (1) apoptosis may play a critical role in AIDS pathogenesis; (2) an increase of endocellular free radical levels can be associated with activation of previously latent HIV virus. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a cytokine capable of inducing oxygen free radicals and apoptosis, appears also to be involved in HIV activation. The present findings, which elucidate a relationship between the percentage of apoptotic cells, reduced glutathione (GSH) depletion and an increase of p24 antigenemia, suggest that pretreatment with N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is capable of decreasing the above-mentioned phenomena in HIV-infected U937 cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-78
Number of pages4
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 19 1993



  • Apoptosis
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Reactive oxygen intermediate (ROI)
  • Reduced glutathione (GSH), N-Acetylcysteine (NAC)
  • Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology

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