Pertussis toxin B-oligomer inhibits HIV infection and replication in hu-PBL-SCID mice

Caterina Lapenta, Massimo Spada, Stefano M. Santini, Sara Racca, Fernanda Dorigatti, Guido Poli, Filippo Belardelli, Massimo Alfano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bordetella pertussis toxin B-oligomer (PTX-B) has been shown to inhibit HIV infection and replication in vitro. The potential anti-viral effect of PTX-B was tested here in an in vivo surrogate model of HIV infection, i.e. SCID mice reconstituted with human peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) (hu-PBL-SCID) and infected with a CCR5-dependent (R5) HIV-1 strain. SCID mice inoculated intra-peritoneal (i.p.) with PTX-B and then infected with the R5 strain SF-162 were sacrificed 7 days later and analyzed for human PBL (hu-PBL) lymphoid tissue reconstitution, infection of hu-PBL, plasma viremia and viral rescue from ex vivo-cultivated i.p. hu-PBL. Unlike mice treated with 500 ng per animal of PTX-B showing no evidence of viral inhibition, daily administration of PTX-B (50 ng per mouse) strongly inhibited virus infection and replication, as determined by undetectable viremia, absence of infected hu-PBL and lack of rescue of infectious HIV in most animals. Furthermore, PTX-B injection 2 h before and twice after infection prevented HIV-1 infection and replication in all (10/10) tested animals. Thus, PTX-B potently inhibited virus infection and replication in hu-PBL-SCID mice, supporting the hypothesis that it may represent a new pharmacological agent against HIV-1 infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-475
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Immunology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005


  • Anti-viral
  • R5 HIV-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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