AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses vol:13 issue:2 pages:187-192
Sodium valproate (VPA), a simple branched-chain fatty acid that has anticonvulsant activity and is used in the treatment of many forms of epilepsy, has been reported to stimulate human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 replication in acutely infected CEM and chronically infected U1 cells (Chemico-Biological Interactions 1994;91:111-121). When attempting to reproduce and extend these findings, we confirmed that VPA is able to stimulate HIV-1(IIIB) replication in acutely infected CEM and C8166 T lymphocytic cell lines and chronically infected ACH-2 and U937/IIIB/LAI cells in a concentration-dependent manner. The stimulatory effect of VPA on HIV replication in CEM cells was not increased by pretreatment of the cells with VPA for 24 hr before infection. However, we could not detect any stimulatory effect of VPA on HIV-1(IIIB) replication in acutely infected peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), MT-4, MT-2, HUT-78, and MOLT-4 (clone 8) cells and in chronically infected HUT-78/IIIB/LAI cells. The stimulatory effect by VPA under certain conditions (see above) may be ascribed to an enhanced HIV transcription, as VPA was found to enhance the HIV long terminal repeat (LTR)-directed expression of beta-galactosidase in transiently transfected HLtat, P4, and COS7 cells. VPA did not enhance beta-galactoside expression mediated by the cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter. VPA did not affect HIV-induced syncytium formation. Nor had VPA any direct inactivating effect on HIV.