Background: Previously, we presented evidence that at physiologic concentrations the green tea catechin, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), inhibited attachment of HIV-1 glycoprotein 120 to the CD4 molecule on T cells, but the downstream effects of EGCG on HIV-1 infectivity were not determined.
Objective: To evaluate the inhibition of HIV-1 infectivity by EGCG and begin preclinical development of EGCG as a possible therapy.
Methods: PBMCs, CD4(+) T cells, and macrophages were isolated from blood of HIV-1-uninfected donors. HIV-1 infectivity was assessed by an HIV-1 p24 ELISA. Cell survival was assessed by cell viability by Trypan blue exclusion assay, cell growth by thymidine incorporation, and apoptosis by flow-cytometric analysis of annexin-V binding.
Results: Epigallocatechin gallate inhibited HIV-1 infectivity on human CD4(+) T cells and macrophages in a dose-dependent manner. At a physiologic concentration of 6 mumol/L, EGCG significantly inhibited HIV-1 p24 antigen production across a broad spectrum of both HIV-1 clinical isolates and laboratory-adapted subtypes (B [P < .001], C, D, and G [P < .01]). The specificity of the EGCG-induced inhibition was substantiated by the failure of EGCG derivatives lacking galloyl and/or pyrogallol side groups to alter HIV-1 p24 levels. EGCG-induced inhibition of HV-1 infectivity was not a result of cytotoxicity, cell growth inhibition, or apoptosis.
Conclusion: We conclude that by preventing the attachment of HIV-1-glycoprotein 120 to the CD4 molecule, EGCG inhibits HIV-1 infectivity. Because this inhibition can be achieved at physiologic concentrations, the natural anti-HIV agent EGCG is a candidate as an alternative therapy in HIV-1 therapy.