AbstractLithium gamma linolenic acid (Li-GLA), was evaluated for its possible role as an antiviral agent. Li-GLA 15 micrograms ml-1 was administered to both normal and LP-BM5 MuLV retroviral infected murine bone marrow cultures. After 2 weeks of treatment, numbers of progenitors being produced by infected/treated cultures were reduced to some 10% that of normal cultures. In the remaining 4 weeks, numbers of CFU-GM and BFU-E hematopoietic progenitors returned within normal range. The efficacy of Li-GLA in relieving retroviral hematopoietic bone marrow suppression correlates to a reduction in interleukin-4 (IL-4) secretion, normally elevated in association with LP-BMP5 infection. These data indicate that this reduction in bone marrow suppression of LP-BMP5 infected cells may be due to a killing of infected cells by the Li-GLA, rather than stimulating hematopoiesis as with other lithium compounds. To conclude this may indicate the possible dual effect of administration of LiGLA to virally infected individuals in reducing viral titre and to lower the toxicities associated with long term drug therapy.
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