Inhibitory effect of glycyrrhizin on the in vitro infectivity and cytopathic activity of the human immunodeficiency virus [HIV (HTLV-III/LAV)]

Antiviral Res. 1987 Mar;7(3):127-37. doi: 10.1016/0166-3542(87)90001-5.


Glycyrrhizin (GL), one of the plant extracts, was investigated for its antiviral action on the human immunodeficiency virus [HIV (HTLV-III/LAV)] in vitro, using cytopathic effect and plaque forming assay system in MT-4 cells (a HTLV-I-carrying cell line). Cloned Molt-4 cells (clone No. 8), which are sensitive to HIV and fuse to giant cells after infection, were also used as a parameter for cytopathic effect of HIV. GL completely inhibited HIV-induced plaque formation in MT-4 cells at a concentration of 0.6 mM, the 50% inhibitory dose being 0.15 mM. GL completely inhibited the cytopathic effect of HIV and the HIV-specific antigen expression in MT-4 cells at a concentration of 0.3 and 0.6 mM, respectively. Furthermore, GL inhibited giant cell formation of HIV-infected Molt-4 clone No. 8 cells. GL had no direct effect on the reverse transcriptase of HIV. Its mechanism of anti-HIV action remains to be elucidated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line
  • Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral
  • Drug Interactions
  • Glycyrrhetinic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Glycyrrhetinic Acid / pharmacology
  • Glycyrrhizic Acid
  • HIV / drug effects*
  • HIV / physiology
  • Humans
  • Thymidine / analogs & derivatives
  • Thymidine / pharmacology
  • Zidovudine


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Zidovudine
  • Glycyrrhizic Acid
  • Glycyrrhetinic Acid
  • Thymidine