Effect of imexon treatment on Friend virus complex infection using genetically defined mice as a model for HIV-1 infection

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Antiviral Research



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Imexon (4-imino-1,4-diazobicyclo-3.1.0-hexan-2-one) was moderately effective in the treatment of a retroviral infection in a genetically defined murine model. The animal model consisted of a Friend virus complex (FV) infection in a hybrid mouse strain, (B10.A × A/WySn)F1, which has similarities with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Intraperitoneal imexon initiated 1 or 3 days after FV inoculation and continued through 13 days after inoculation significantly reduced splenomegaly, splenic cell-free virus titers and viral RNA. Viral infectious centers/106 splenocytes and FV titers in the plasma were reduced, though not to a statistically significant level. The effect of imexon on survival was not statistically significant which suggested that the antiviral effects were only transiently effective. Phytohemagglutinin-induced blastogenesis and percent of total T cells, T helper cells and T suppressor/cytotoxic cells in the spleens were increased, and the percentage of B cells decreased by imexon treatment of both FV-infected and uninfected mice. The splenic natural killer cell activity and interleukin-1 production were not markedly affected. Virus specific neutralizing antibody developed in both imexon- and placebo-treated FV-infected mice, although titers were lower in the imexon-treated animals.

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