Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and synthetic DHEA analogs are modest inhibitors of HIV-1 IIIB replication.


Henderson E, Yang JY, Schwartz A




AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses


Down-regulation of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) induced transformation of human lymphocytes in vitro by dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a naturally occurring human steroid secreted by the adrenal gland has been demonstrated. This article reports on the effects of DHEA and its novel synthetic analogs 16 alpha-fluoro-5-androsten-17-one (8354) and 3 beta-hydroxy-16 alpha-fluoro-5 alpha-androstan-17-one (OH8356) on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) replication. Treatment with DHEA, 8354, or OH8356 resulted in a modest down-regulation of HIV-1 replication in phytohemagglutinin-stimulated peripheral blood lymphocytes as measured by syncytia formation, release of p24 antigen, and accumulation of reverse transcriptase activity. DHEA and 8354 also reduced syncytia formation in HIV-1-infected SupT1 lymphoblasts. DHEA and synthetic analogs of DHEA, which have been shown previously to have antiproliferative effects, now are shown to reduce HIV-1 replication. DHEA or synthetic analogs of DHEA could provide an alternative and/or adjuvant for HIV-1 infection.