Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 18377645
BACKGROUND AND METHODS: HIV-1 cell-to-cell transmission is more efficient than infection of permissive cells with cell-free particles. The potency of HIV-1 entry inhibitors to inhibit such transmission is not well known. Herein, we evaluated the efficacy of this new class of antiretrovirals to block cell-to-cell transmission of HIV-1 in a model of reconstitution of the human placental trophoblast barrier in vitro.
RESULTS: Our data show that CCR5 antagonists and T20 inhibit the passage of the virus across the BeWo cell monolayer in contact with PBMCs infected with an R5 (Ba-L) and a dualtropic (A204) HIV-1 with IC50s in the range of 100 – 5,000 nM for TAK779; 90 to 15,000 nM for SCH-350581 and 3,000 to 20,000 nM for T20. The CXCR4 antagonist AMD3100 is also effective against X4 HIV-1 infected PBMCs in our model with IC50 comprised between 4 nM and 640 nM. HIV-1 entry inhibitors are less efficient to block cell-to-cell virus transmission than cell-free HIV-1 infection of PBMCs and CCR5 antagonists do not prevent PBMC infection by dual tropic HIV-1 in contrast to cell-to-cell infection in our model.Surprisingly, T20 (and C34) do not block cell-to-cell transmission of X4 HIV-1 but, rather, increase 80 to 140 fold, compared to control without drug, the passage of the virus across the trophoblast barrier. Additional experiments suggest that the effect of T20 on BeWo/PBMC-X4 HIV-1 is due to an increase of effector-target cells fusion.
CONCLUSION: Our results support further evaluation of HIV-1 coreceptor antagonists, alone or combined to other antiretrovirals, in a perspective of prevention but warn on the use of T20 in patients bearing X4 HIV-1 at risk of transmission.