Silymarin Inhibits HIV Infection

Byron's Comments:

Support for a difficult viral issue.

Study Title:

Silibinin inhibits HIV-1 infection by reducing cellular activation and proliferation.

Study Abstract:

Purified silymarin-derived natural products from the milk thistle plant (Silybum marianum) block hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and inhibit T cell proliferation in vitro. An intravenous formulation of silibinin (SIL), a major component of silymarin, displays anti-HCV effects in humans and also inhibits T-cell proliferation in vitro. We show that SIL inhibited replication of HIV-1 in TZM-bl cells, PBMCs, and CEM cells in vitro. SIL suppression of HIV-1 coincided with dose-dependent reductions in actively proliferating CD19+, CD4+, and CD8+ cells, resulting in fewer CD4+ T cells expressing the HIV-1 co-receptors CXCR4 and CCR5. SIL inhibition of T-cell growth was not due to cytotoxicity measured by cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, or necrosis. SIL also blocked induction of the activation markers CD38, HLA-DR, Ki67, and CCR5 on CD4+ T cells. The data suggest that SIL attenuated cellular functions involved in T-cell activation, proliferation, and HIV-1 infection. Silymarin-derived compounds provide cytoprotection by suppressing virus infection, immune activation, and inflammation, and as such may be relevant for both HIV mono-infected and HIV/HCV co-infected subjects.

Study Information:

McClure J, Lovelace ES, Elahi S, Maurice NJ, Wagoner J, Dragavon J, Mittler JE, Kraft Z, Stamatatos L, Horton H, De Rosa SC, Coombs RW, Polyak SJ Silibinin inhibits HIV-1 infection by reducing cellular activation and proliferation. PLoS One.  2012 March  ;7(7):e41832.
Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States of America.

Full Study:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3404953/




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