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In Vitro Inhibitory Effects of the Herbal-Marine Compound HESA-A Against Replication of Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1


Rouhollah Vahabpour 1 , Seyed Mehdi Sadat 1 , Rezvan Zabihollahi 1 , Amrollah Ahmadi 1 , Hossein Keivani 1 , Safieh Amini 2 , Seyed Davar Siadat 1 , Mohammad Reza Aghasadeghi 3 , *


1 Hepatitis and AIDS Department, Pasteur Institute of Iran, IR Iran

2 Hepatitis and AIDS Department, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran

3 Hepatitis and AIDS Department, Pasteur Institute of Iran, mrasadeghi@pasteur.ac.ir, IR Iran


Jundishapur Journal of Microbiology: 5 (1); 315-319
Article Type: Research Article
Received: December 1, 2010
Accepted: June 1, 2011




Background: For more than 2 decades, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection has been known to cause significant morbidity and mortality. Difficulties in treating HIV-infected patients include adverse effects and drug resistance and continue to limit the use of conventional anti-retroviral therapies.
Objectives: To find new anti-retroviral drugs from natural sources, we investigated the inhibitory effects and mechanism of action of HESA-A, a natural biological compound of herbal-marine origin, against HIV-1 replication in vitro.
Materials and Methods: In this study, we used a single-cycle replicable HIV-1 system in which co-transfection of human embryonic kidney (HEK)-293T cells with pmzNL4-3, psPAX2, and pM2G.2 plasmids was performed. Cytotoxicity and cytopathic protection assays were performed using the 2,3-bis-(2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl)-(2H)-tetrazolium- 5-carboxanilide method. Inhibition of p24 antigen production was analyzed, and time-of-drug-addition assay was conducted using quantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
Results: HESA-A inhibited HIV-1-induced cytopathic effect in MT2 and HEK293T cells, and the selectivity index values were 13.3 and 8, respectively. We performed quantitative p24 ELISA and added varying concentrations of HESA-A in cell culture supernatants at different times; we observed that HESA-A preserved its ability to inhibit viral replication even at 12 h post-infection.
Conclusions: These results suggest that HESA-A has potent anti-HIV activity, and its mechanism of action likely involves interference during the late stages of viral replication, such as virus maturation.

  • Implication for health policy/practice/research/medical education:
    From a therapeutic point of view, our findings suggest that this herbal drug has relevant therapeutic potential for HIV infection.
  • Please cite this paper as:
    Vahabpour R, Sadat SM, Zabihollahi R, Ahmadi A, Keivani H, Amini S, et al. In Vitro Inhibitory Effects of the Herbal-Marine Compound HESA-A Against Replication of Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1. Jundishapur J Microbiol. 2012;5(1):315-19.
  • DOI:10.5812/kowsar.20083645.2436

© 2012, AJUMS. Published by Kowsar M.P.Co. All rights reserved.


Human Immunodeficiency Virus Hesa-A Herbal Medicine Antiviral Agents

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