9-[(2R,5R-2,5-dihydro-5-phosphonomethoxy)-2-furanyl]adenine, or D4API, was tested in the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) infection model and found to be significantly more inhibitory in vitro than its parent compound 9-phosphonylmethoxethyl adenine (PMEA). Cytotoxicity was less than for PMEA or azidothymidine (AZT) for culture periods of 7 days, but more toxic after 10 days. D4API was rapidly absorbed by cats following subcutaneous inoculation, with a plasma half-life of less than 1 h after intravenous inoculation and between 2 and 3 h after subcutaneous injection. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells collected from cats given a single dose of D4API were refractory, however, to FIV infection in vitro for up to 24 h. Given its prolonged intracellular phase and high selectivity index, high dose D4API therapy was tested for its ability to abort an acute (i.e. 2 week) FIV infection. A divided daily dose of D4API, which was one-fourth the toxic dose and 125 times the concentration that would totally inhibit virus replication in vitro, completely abrogated the anticipated viremia and antibody responses. Unfortunately, a majority of treated/uninfected and treated/infected test cats died acutely of drug toxicity after 47 days of treatment. Toxicity in vivo mirrored what was observed in vitro, being precipitous and cumulative in nature. Toxic signs included widespread hepatic and lymphoid necrosis. A surviving treated/FIV infected cat remained healthy to day 175 when the study was terminated; antibodies appeared 2 months later than in untreated/infected cats and virus was only detectable at low levels on day 175. In contrast, untreated/infected cats were viremic and antibody positive from 3 to 4 weeks post-infection onwards. Therefore, it was possible to alter, but not abort, an early FIV infection with prolonged, high-dose D4API treatment.
- Antiviral toxicity
- Feline immunodeficiency virus
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