Nutritional manipulation of HIV/AIDS: the effects of ergothioneine and cultural complementary and alternative medicines on HIV

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Lauren West (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Ethan Taylor

Abstract: The use of complementary and alternative medicine in minority populations in individuals infected with HIV is prevalent and these cultural practices require laboratory confirmation to determine effectiveness. The manipulation of HIV via nutritional supplementation could provide insight to the efficacy of cultural remedies. Ergothioneine, a compound derived from mushrooms and a naturally occurring amino acid, was used as a positive control due to its confirmed ability to decrease HIV promoter-driven gene expression via inhibition of the NF-?B transcription factor. Four herbal remedies, which are purported to prevent or treat HIV infection by Black and Latino HIV patients and uninfected individuals, were also tested for antiviral properties. Ergothioneine, Hypoxis hemerocallidea, Sutherlandia frutescens, Opuntia ficus-indica, and Uncaria tomentosa were liquefied and used to prepare serial dilutions. The dilutions were used to treat CEM-GFP cells in cytotoxicity assays to determine ideal concentrations for treatments, that alone (i.e. in the absence of virus) had minimal effects on GFP expression. Once concentrations of each treatment were elected, CEM-GFP cells were cultured in the presence of the dilutions, followed 24 hrs. later by HIV infection and monitoring for GFP expression. In this system, increased GFP fluorescence signifies stimulation of HIV replication, and decreases in GFP fluorescence signifies inhibition of HIV replication. The results suggested that ergothioneine, Hypoxis hemerocallidea, and Sutherlandia frutescens prevented HIV proliferation post-infection while Opuntia ficus-indica and Uncaria tomentosa both stabilized cells prior to infection and inhibited HIV proliferation post-infection.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2015
Ergothioneine, HIV, Hypoxis hemerocallidea, Opuntia ficus-indica, Sutherlandia frutescens, Uncaria tomentosa
HIV infections $x Alternative treatment

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