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Antiviral activity of beta-L-2',3'-dideoxy-2',3'-didehydro-5-fluorocytidine in woodchucks chronically infected with woodchuck hepatitis virus



Antiviral activity of beta-L-2',3'-dideoxy-2',3'-didehydro-5-fluorocytidine in woodchucks chronically infected with woodchuck hepatitis virus



Antimicrobial Agents and ChemoTherapy 45(4): 1065-1077



The L-nucleoside analog beta-L-2',3'-dideoxy-2',3'-didehydro-5-fluorocytidine (beta-L-Fd4C) was first shown to exhibit potent activity against hepatitis B virus (HBV) in tissue culture and then to significantly inhibit viral spread during acute infection in the duck HBV model (F. Le Guerhier et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 44:111-122, 2000). We have therefore examined its antiviral activity in a mammalian model of chronic HBV infection, the woodchuck chronically infected with woodchuck hepatitis virus (WHV). Side-by-side comparison of beta-L-Fd4C and lamivudine administered intraperitoneally during short-term and long-term protocols demonstrated a more profound inhibition of viremia in beta-L-Fd4C-treated groups. Moreover, beta-L-Fd4C induced a marked inhibition of intrahepatic viral DNA synthesis compared with that induced by lamivudine. Nevertheless, covalently closed circular (CCC) DNA persistence explained the lack of clearance of infected hepatocytes expressing viral antigens and the relapse of WHV replication after drug withdrawal. Liver histology showed a decrease in the inflammatory activity of chronic hepatitis in woodchucks receiving beta-L-Fd4C. An electron microscopy study showed the absence of ultrastructural changes of hepatic mitochondria, biliary canaliculi, and bile ducts. However, a loss of weight was observed in all animals, whatever the treatment, as was a transient skin pigmentation in all woodchucks during beta-L-Fd4C treatment. There was no evidence that lamivudine or beta-L-Fd4C could prevent the development of hepatocellular carcinoma with the protocols used. These results indicate that beta-L-Fd4C exhibits a more potent antiviral effect than lamivudine in the WHV model but was not able to eradicate CCC DNA and infected cells from the liver at the dosage and with the protocol used.

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Accession: 010191241

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PMID: 11257017

DOI: 10.1128/AAC.45.4.1065-1077.2001



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