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Influence of neopterin and 7,8-dihydroneopterin on the replication of Coxsackie type B5 and influenza A viruses


Pteridine derivatives neopterin and 7,8-dihydroneopterin are produced by human macrophages and dendritic cells upon stimulation with interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and therefore become detectable in increased amounts in humans during cell-mediated (Th1-type) immune response. Compounds produced upon influence of cytokine IFN-γ often exert antiproliferative and antiviral activity. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of neopterin and 7,8-dihydroneopterin on the replication of Coxsackie type B5 and influenza A viruses. The changes in the replication of these viruses were evaluated by the degree of cytopathic effect and their ability to form plaques in Coxsackie B5-infected human larynx carcinoma epithelial (Hep-2) cells and in influenza A-infected canine kidney epithelial cells (MDCK). Potential toxicity of neopterin and 7,8-dihydroneopterin was estimated by the incorporation of 3H-thymidine and 3H-uridine into Hep-2 and MDCK cells. Whereas 30 nmol/l neopterin delayed the development of the cytopathic effect of Coxsackie B5 virus in Hep-2 cells (P < 0.01), 7,8-dihydroneopterin did not have any essential influence at any of the concentrations tested between 10 nmol/l and 1,000 μmol/l. However, 100–1,500 μmol/l 7,8-dihydroneopterin significantly suppressed the propagation of influenza A virus. Neopterin and 7,8-dihydroneopterin were practically nontoxic for Hep-2 and MDCK cells even at high μM concentration. Results suggest that the increased production of neopterin derivatives by activated macrophages and dendritic cells may represent part of the antiviral armature induced by IFN-γ. The mechanisms of the inhibitory effects of neopterin and 7,8-dihydroneopterin on virus replication apparently are different.

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This work was supported by the government of the State of the Austrian Tyrol.

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Correspondence to Dietmar Fuchs.

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Bratslavska, O., Platace, D., Miklaševičs, E. et al. Influence of neopterin and 7,8-dihydroneopterin on the replication of Coxsackie type B5 and influenza A viruses. Med Microbiol Immunol 196, 23–29 (2007).

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  • Nitric Oxide
  • Antiviral Activity
  • MDCK Cell
  • Cytopathic Effect
  • Neopterin