Anti-HIV Activity of Cucurbitacin-D against Cigarette Smoke Condensate-Induced HIV Replication in the U1 Macrophages.
Viruses. 2021 May 27 ;13(6). Epub 2021 May 27. PMID: 34072078
Chemodietary agents are emerging as promising adjuvant therapies in treating various disease conditions. However, there are no adjuvant therapies available to minimize the neurotoxicity of currently existing antiretroviral drugs (ARVs). In this study, we investigated the anti-HIV effect of a chemodietary agent, Cucurbitacin-D (Cur-D), in HIV-infected macrophages using an in-vitro blood-brain barrier (BBB) model. Since tobacco smoking is prevalent in the HIV population, and it exacerbates HIV replication, we also tested the effect of Cur-D against cigarette smoke condensate (CSC)-induced HIV replication. Our results showed that Cur-D treatment reduces the viral load in a dose-dependent (0-1μM) manner without causing significant toxicity at<1μM concentration. Further, a daily dose of Cur-D (0.1 μM) not only reduced p24 in control conditions, but also reduced CSC (10 μg/mL)-induced p24 in U1 cells. Similarly, Cur-D (single dose of 0.4 μM) significantly reduced the CSC (single dose of 40 μg/mL)-induced HIV replication across the BBBmodel. In addition, treatment with Cur-D reduced the level of pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β. Therefore, Cur-D, as an adjuvant therapy, may be used not only to suppress HIV in the brain, but also to reduce the CNS toxicity of currently existing ARVs.