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Curtis R. Brandt, Radeekorn Akkarawongsa, Sharon Altmann, Gilbert Jose, Aaron W. Kolb, Alan J. Waring, Robert I. Lehrer; Evaluation of a θ-Defensin in a Murine Model of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 Keratitis. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(11):5118-5124. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.07-0302.
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purpose. To test the activity of a synthetic θ-defensin, retrocyclin (RC)-2, in a murine herpes simplex virus (HSV)-1 keratitis model.
methods. The in vitro antiviral activity of RC-2 against HSV-1 KOS was determined by yield reduction and viral inactivation assays. Efficacy in an experimental murine HSV-1 keratitis model was tested using pre- or postinfection treatment with 0.1% peptide in PBS with or without 2% methylcellulose. Viral titers in the tear film were determined by plaque assay.
results. RC-2 inhibited HSV-1 KOS in vitro with an EC50 of 10 μM (∼20 μg/mL) in yield-reduction assays, but was not directly virucidal. RC-106 (a less active analogue) did not inhibit HSV-1 KOS in culture. Incubating the virus with RC-2 or applying the peptide in 2% methylcellulose to the cornea before viral infection significantly reduced the severity of ocular disease, but postinfection treatment with 0.1% RC-2 in PBS with or without 2% methylcellulose did not. Viral titers were significantly reduced on some days after infection in the preincubation and prophylaxis groups.
conclusions. RC-2 was active against HSV-1 KOS in cultures and showed protective activity in vivo when used in a prophylactic mode, but the peptide showed limited activity in a postinfection herpes keratitis model. These findings support data obtained from experiments with HIV-1, HSV-2, and influenza A, indicating that RCs inhibit the entry of viruses rather than their replication.
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