Journal of virological methods vol:16 issue:3 pages:171-185
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection of MT-4 cells, an HTLV-I-transformed T-cell line, proved to be a rapid and sensitive assay system for the detection of potential antiviral drugs effective against the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Four days after HIV inoculation of the MT-4 cells, viral antigen expression was monitored in parallel with indirect immunofluorescence microscopy and laser flow cytofluorography. When 3'-azido-2',3'-dideoxythymidine (AzddThd, AZT) and 2',3'-dideoxycytidine (ddCyd) were evaluated under these conditions, they inhibited viral antigen expression at a minimum (33% inhibitory) concentration of 0.0004 and 0.02 microM, respectively. Similar minimum effective concentrations were found for AzddThd and ddCyd in assays where inhibition of viral cytopathogenicity was based on cell survival. While laser flow cytofluorography could be best adapted for quantitative measurements, cell survival and reconstitution of disrupted cell aggregates gave an equally rapid and sensitive endpoint; and the latter may be ideally suited for preliminary drug screening.