Electron microscope studies been made of mock-infected or herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 (strain 17)- or HSV-2 (strain HG52)-infected Flow 2002 cells grown in the absence or presence of various concentrations of cicloxolone sodium (CCX). Fifty nonserial, thin sections of mock-infected or HSV-infected cells, which contained a portion of the nucleus, were examined by transmission electron microscopy. With increasing drug concentration, counts of capsid structures both in the nucleus and cytoplasm showed a decrease in the number of virions per cell section, an increase in the ratio of nuclear to cytoplasmic virus, a relative reduction in the percentage of cytoplasmic enveloped virus particles, but no effect on the ratio of empty to core-containing capsid structures. The high particle to p.f.u. ratio induced by CCX treatment is thus not explained through failure to assemble morphologically mature core-containing capsids. In part it can be explained by non-envelopment, but in addition, specific effects on other virion proteins (tegument and envelope) must be involved. The extracellular virus particle yield was unaffected, indicating that CCX treatment enhances the egress of HSV. In the presence of CCX the encapsidation of HSV DNA into DNase-resistant structures was unaffected.

Keyword(s): antiviral , HSV and triterpenoids

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