Triterpenoids from Ocimum labiatum activates latent HIV-1 expression in vitro : potential for use in adjuvant therapy

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 3
  • Abstract:

    Latent HIV reservoirs in infected individuals prevent current treatment from eradicating infection. Treatment strategies against latency involve adjuvants for viral reactivation which exposes viral particles to antiretroviral drugs. In this study, the effect of novel triterpenoids isolated from Ocimum labiatum on HIV-1 expression was measured through HIV-1 p24 antigen capture in the U1 latency model of HIV-1 infection and in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of infected patients on combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). The mechanism of viral reactivation was determined through the compound’s effect on cytokine production, histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibition, and protein kinase C (PKC) activation. Cytotoxicity of the triterpenoids was determined using a tetrazolium dye and flow cytometry. The isolated triterpene isomers, 3-hydroxy-4,6a,6b,11,12,14b-hexamethyl-1,2,3,4,6,6a,6b,7,8,8a,9,10,11,12,12a,14,14a,14b-octadecahydrop icene-4,8a-dicarboxylic acid (HHODC), significantly (p < 0.05) induced HIV-1 expression in a dose-dependent manner in U1 cells at non-cytotoxic concentrations. HHODC also induced viral expression in PBMCs of HIV-1 infected patients on cART. In addition, the compound up-regulated the production of interleukin (IL)-2, IL-6, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)- , and interferon (IFN)- but had no effect on HDAC and PKC activity, suggesting cytokine upregulation as being involved in latency activation. The observed in vitro reactivation of HIV-1 introduces the adjuvant potential of HHODC for the first time here.