Antiviral effects of Retro-2cycl and Retro-2.1 against Enterovirus 71in vitroandin vivo

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Abstract

Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is one of the causative pathogens of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), especially the form associated with fatal neurological disorders. Sustained outbreaks of EV71 infections remain a serious health threat worldwide. However, no antiviral agent against EV71 for clinical therapy has been approved. Retro-2cycl and Retro-2.1 are inhibitors of several pathogens specifically targeting the intracellular vesicle transport, which also participates in the EV71 lifecycle processes including progeny virus release. Here, we reported that Retro-2cycl and Retro-2.1, respectively, could inhibit EV71 infection with 50% effective concentrations of 12.56 μM and 0.05 μM in a cytopathic effect inhibition assay and showed relatively low cytotoxicity with 50% cytotoxicity concentrations of more than 500 μM and 267.80 μM. Preliminary mechanism studies revealed that Retro-2cycl and Retro-2.1 did not inhibit EV71 protein synthesis or RNA replication but could block progeny EV71 release specifically. Furthermore, administration of Retro-2cycl at the dose of 10 mg/kg significantly protected 90% of newborn mice from lethal EV71 challenge. Consequently, our results for the first time identified Retro-2cycl and Retro-2.1 as effective inhibitors of EV71 as well as lead compounds, which would contribute to anti-EV71 drug development. We also identified progeny virus release and the intracellular vesicle transport as antiviral targets for EV71.

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