Infectious HIV inhibited by Green Teas most potent antioxidant (EGCG) at achievable dosages

March 06, 2009

Scientists at the Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital in Houston previously presented evidence that at physiologic concentrations the green tea antioxidant EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), inhibited the AIDS virus by inhibiting the attachment of HIV-1 glycoprotein 120 to the CD4 molecule on T cells, but the downstream effects of EGCG on HIV-1 infectivity were not determined.  

They designed this follow-up study to evaluate the inhibition of HIV-1 infectivity by EGCG and begin preclinical development of EGCG as a possible therapy. Immune system cells (PBMCs, CD4(+) T cells, and macrophages) were isolated from blood of HIV-1-uninfected donors. The scientists then infected the cells with the HIV virus.  

EGCG inhibited the ability of the virus to infect human CD4(+) T cells and macrophages in a dose-dependent manner. At a physiologic concentration of 6 mumol/L, EGCG significantly inhibited HIV-1 p24 antigen production across a broad spectrum of both HIV-1 clinical isolates and laboratory-adapted subtypes. EGCG-induced inhibition of HV-1 infectivity was not a result of cytotoxicity, cell growth inhibition, or apoptosis. CONCLUSION: We conclude that by preventing the attachment of HIV-1-glycoprotein 120 to the CD4 molecule, EGCG inhibits HIV-1 infectivity. Because this inhibition can be achieved at physiologic concentrations, the natural anti-HIV agent EGCG is a candidate as an alternative therapy in HIV-1 therapy. The study is published in the February 2009 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.