Effective Therapy of the LP-BM5 Murine Retrovirus-Induced Lymphoproliferative Immunodeficiency Disease with Diethyldithiocarbamate

Evan M. Hersh, Carole Y. Funk, Kay L. Ryschon, Eskild A. Petersen, Donald E. Mosier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The effects of therapy with the immunomodulator diethyldithiocarbamate (DTC) on the manifestation and natural history of LP-BM5 murine retrovirus infection in adult C57 Black 6 mice was investigated. DTC itself, had limited effects on the spleen weight, serum IgM, or mitogen responses of the non-virus-infected control mice when evaluated over a 9-week period. The virus inoculum administered was such that there was approximately a twofold increase in serum IgM and a halving of phytohemagglutinin (PHA) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) responses in about two weeks and death of all animals by about 26 weeks postinfection. Doses of DTC of 20 and 200 mg/kg weekly or 5 days per week (intraperitoneally) in mice with LP-BM5 infection did not alter the manifestations or course of the disease. Doses of 400 or 600 mg/kg given 5 days per week, starting either 2 weeks before or the day of virus inoculation significantly reduced hypergammaglobulinemia, spleen weight, lymphadenopathy, and also prolonged survival. A dose of 400 mg/kg started 2 weeks after virus inoculation resulted in partial prevention of hypergammaglobulinemia, splenomegaly, and lymphadenopathy as well as 100% survival compared with 12.5% in non-drug-treated controls at 23 weeks after virus inoculation. The 9 surviving animals in the treated group were then allocated to continue treatment or stop treatment. In the animals without further treatment, lymphadenopathy and mortality occurred starting within 6 weeks after cessation of therapy while the animals with continued treatment remained in good condition for 40 weeks. There was only a very limited and transient effect of DTC therapy on the decline of the proliferative responses to phytohemagglutinin or lipopolysaccharide in any of the treated groups in the above described experiments. These data suggest that DTC is an active agent in controlling this retroviral disease, but only as long as the drug is continued. Its efficacy in human HIV infection should be further explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-561
Number of pages9
JournalAIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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