Abstract Title:

Fucoidan therapy decreases the proviral load in patients with human T-lymphotropic virus type-1-associated neurological disease.

Abstract Source:

Antivir Ther. 2011 ;16(1):89-98. PMID: 21311112

Abstract Author(s):

Natsumi Araya, Katsunori Takahashi, Tomoo Sato, Tatsufumi Nakamura, Chika Sawa, Daisuke Hasegawa, Hitoshi Ando, Satoko Aratani, Naoko Yagishita, Ryoji Fujii, Hiroshi Oka, Kusuki Nishioka, Toshihiro Nakajima, Naoki Mori, Yoshihisa Yamano

Article Affiliation:

Department of Molecular Medical Science, Institute of Medical Science, St Marianna University School of Medicine, Kawasaki, Japan.


BACKGROUND: Human T-lymphotropic virus type-1 (HTLV-1) is a human retrovirus that causes HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) and adult T-cell leukaemia (ATL). A higher viral load in individuals with HTLV-1 infection increases their risk of developing HAM/TSP and ATL. Moreover, the high proviral load is associated with the clinical progression of HAM/TSP. Reduction of the number of HTLV-1-infected cells is therefore crucial for preventing and treating HTLV-1-associated diseases. Recently, fucoidan, a complex sulphated polysaccharide derived from marine seaweed, has been demonstrated to exert inhibitory effects on HTLV-1 infection in vitro. In this study, we examined the in vivo effects of fucoidan on HTLV-1 infection.

METHODS: In this single-centre open-label trial, 13 patients with HAM/TSP were treated with 6 g fucoidan daily for 6-13 months. The HTLV-1 proviral DNA load and frequencies of HTLV-1-specific CD8(+) T-cells, natural killer cells, invariant natural killer T-cells and dendritic cells in the peripheral blood were analysed. Furthermore, the in vitro inhibitory effect of fucoidan on cell-to-cell HTLV-1 infection was examined by using luciferase reporter cell assays.

RESULTS: Fucoidan inhibited the cell-to-cell transmission of HTLV-1 in vitro. Furthermore, fucoidan therapy resulted in a 42.4% decrease in the HTLV-1 proviral load without affecting the host immune cells. During the treatment, no exacerbation was observed. Four patients with HAM/TSP developed diarrhoea, which improved immediately after stopping fucoidan administration.

CONCLUSIONS: Fucoidan is a new potential therapeutic agent for the prevention and treatment of HTLV-1-associated diseases.

Study Type : Human Study

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