Rolipram, a specific type IV phosphodiesterase inhibitor, is a potent inhibitor of HIV-1 replication

J B Angel, B M Saget, S P Walsh, T F Greten, C A Dinarello, P R Skolnik, S Endres
AIDS 1995, 9 (10): 1137-44

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of rolipram, a specific type IV phosphodiesterase inhibitor, on tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha production and HIV-1 replication.

DESIGN: TNF-alpha enhances HIV-1 replication in vitro; blocking TNF-alpha and thereby inhibiting HIV-1 replication may therefore potentially delay progression of HIV disease. Pentoxifylline is a non-specific phosphodiesterase inhibitor that blocks TNF-alpha synthesis and HIV-1 replication in vitro and has been shown in preliminary clinical studies to decrease viral replication in HIV-1-infected patients. Rolipram, which selectively inhibits the predominant phosphodiesterase isoenzyme of monocytes, inhibits lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced TNF-alpha with 500-fold greater potency than pentoxifylline. We, therefore, hypothesized that rolipram would be a powerful inhibitor of HIV-1 replication.

METHODS: The effects of rolipram and pentoxifylline on TNF-alpha production and HIV-1 replication were determined in infected and uninfected peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), in a chronically infected promonocytic cell line (U1) and in an acutely infected monocytic cell line (BT4A3.5). TNF-alpha was determined by specific radioimmunoassay and HIV-1 replication was measured by p24 antigen and HIV-1 mRNA production.

RESULTS: Rolipram inhibited TNF-alpha production in LPS- and phorbol myristate acetate (PMA)-stimulated PBMC and in PMA-stimulated U1 cells. Rolipram also inhibited HIV-1 replication in the U1 cell line, as well as in acutely infected PBMC and BT4A3.5 cells. Depending on the experimental conditions, rolipram was 10-600 times more potent, on a molar basis, than pentoxifylline.

CONCLUSION: Rolipram is a potent inhibitor HIV-1 replication and therefore deserves further investigation as a potential therapeutic agent in the treatment of HIV-1-infected patients.

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