Complement activation and hemodynamic changes following intravenous administration of phosphorothioate oligonucleotides in the monkey

Antisense Res Dev. Fall 1994;4(3):201-6. doi: 10.1089/ard.1994.4.201.


Rapid intravenous infusion of GEM 91, a 25-mer phosphorothioate oligonucleotide complementary to the gag site of HIV, in the monkey produces transient decreases in peripheral total WBC and neutrophil counts, hemoconcentration, and a brief increase followed by a prolonged decrease in arterial blood pressure. These changes are preceded by and are likely mediated by activation of C5 complement. These effects are dose and infusion rate dependent and can be avoided by administering GEM 91 by slow intravenous infusion. Similar hemodynamic effects are produced with rapid intravenous infusion of other phosphorothioate oligonucleotides varying in length from 20- to 33-mer, and are, therefore, not sequence specific but a property of this chemical structure.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Complement Activation / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics / drug effects*
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligonucleotides / pharmacology*
  • Thionucleotides / pharmacology*


  • Oligonucleotides
  • Thionucleotides