Red blood cells mediated delivery of 9-(2-phosphonylmethoxyethyl)adenine to primary macrophages: Efficiency, metabolism and activity against human immunodeficiency virus or herpes simplex virus

Carlo Federico Perno, Nadia Santoro, Emanuela Balestra, Stefano Aquaro, Alessandra Cenci, Giuseppe Lazzarino, Donato Di Pierro, Barbara Tavazzi, Jan Balzarini, Enrico Garaci, Settimio Grimaldi, Raffaele Caliò

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Red blood cells (RBC) may act as selective carriers of drugs to macrophages, an important reservoir of viruses such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). We therefore assessed the incorporation of 9-(2-phosphonylmethoxyethyl)adenine (PMEA, a potent inhibitor of HIV and HSV-1) into RBC, its delivery to macrophages and its activity against HIV or HSV-1. Loading of PMEA in artificially aged opsonized RBC affords significant levels of intracellular PMEA. RBC metabolize PMEA to its active congener PMEA-diphosphate, although with low efficiency. Exposure of macrophages to RBC-encapsulated PMEA inhibits the replication of both HIV and HSV-1 (about 90% inhibition at the highest RBC:macrophages ratios) even if RBC were removed before virus challenge. By contrast, the antiviral activity of free PMEA removed before virus challenge was irrelevant at concentrations up to 150-fold higher than the 50% effective concentration (EC50). Finally, the antiviral effect of RBC-encapsulated PMEA correlates with PMEA levels in macrophages about 500-fold higher than those achieved by free PMEA (at concentrations 10-fold higher than the EC50). The efficacy of RBC-mediated delivery to macrophages of PMEA (and perhaps of compounds with shorter intracellular half-lives) warrants further studies in infectious diseases involving phagocytizing cells as main targets of the pathogen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-164
Number of pages12
JournalAntiviral Research
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1997

Keywords

  • Erythrocytes
  • Herpes simplex virus type 1
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Macrophages
  • PMEA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Pharmacology

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