Efficacy of cationic lipid-DNA complexes (CLDC) on hepatitis B virus in transgenic mice

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Antiviral Res



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Cationic lipid–DNA (non-coding) complexes (CLDC) are activators of the innate immune response that increase survival of rodents with some acute viral infections and cancers. CLDC were evaluated for their ability to impact viral DNA levels in transgenic mice carrying an infectious clone of hepatitis B virus (HBV). Mice used in the studies were diet-restricted as nursing pups from solid food, because the expression of HBV DNA in the liver was increased above background levels in some mice with this restriction. Survival surgery was performed on these mice to obtain liver biopsies from which to select animals with suitable levels of liver HBV DNA for entry into the experimental protocols. Intravenous administration of 5 μg/mouse of CLDC on days 1, 7 and 13 reduced liver HBV DNA to similar low levels achieved with the positive control, adefovir dipivoxil. In a subsequent experiment, the same treatment schedule was used to determine that the minimal effective CLDC dose was between 0.5 and 0.05 μg/mouse. Selective cytokines were increased in the livers of CLDC-treated compared to placebo-treated mice in a dose-responsive manner. CLDC were effective in reducing liver HBV DNA and could be considered for further evaluation in other hepatitis models.