In vitro lymphotoxicity and selective T cell immunotoxicity of high doses of acyclovir and its derivatives in mice

L. Poluektova, K. Krzystyniak, R. Desjardins, D. Flipo, M. Fournier

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2 Scopus citations


The antiviral drug acyclovir [9-(2-hydroxyethoxymethyl)guanine (ACV)], its 7-isomer (7-ACV) and its two derivatives: N2-acetyl ACV (ac-ACV) and N2,O-diacetyl ACV (diac-ACV) were examined for their potential in vitro lymphotoxicity and in vivo immunotoxicity in mice. In vitro lymphotoxicity of ACV and its acetylated derivatives was low, whereas the 7-ACV isomer enhanced the in vitro cell proliferation in PHA-stimulated cultures. Addition of 2'-deoxyguanosine (dGuo) did not exhibit any inhibitory potential of ACV. However, reduction in the absolute number of CD3+, CD8+, and CD25+ cells, but not Ig+ cells, was noted at high concentrations of ACV and its derivatives, suggesting a selective T cell cytotoxicity. Similarly, the in vivo exposure revealed selective T cell immunotoxicity of ACV and its derivatives since the reduced number of Thy 1.2+ and CD8+ cells was not accompanied with any marked changes in the Ig+ population. The CD4+/CD8+ ratio was affected both in vitro and in vivo by high concentrations of ACV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-438
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Immunopharmacology
Issue number6-7
StatePublished - Jun 1 1996



  • Acyclovir
  • Cytometric assay
  • Immunopharmacolog
  • Immunotoxicity
  • In vitro lymphotoxicity
  • Lymphocyte subsets
  • Mouse lymphocyte

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology

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