Indomethacin inhibits CMV replication

Inhibitors of cyclooxygenase 2 block the replication of cytomegalovirus in human fibroblasts.

Tudor Toma(

Infection with cytomegalovirus (CMV) is extremely common, but the virus only becomes pathogenic when the immune system is weakened, by, for example, HIV or anti-rejection transplant immunosupressors. In February 26 online Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Hua Zhu and colleagues from New Jersey Medical School, USA, show that cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitors could be useful in preventing CMV activation because they block viral replication.

Zhu et al. examined cultures of virus-infected human fibroblasts and found that both specific and nonspecific (indomethacin) COX-2 inhibitors reduced not just prostaglandin E2 levels but also the yield of CMV in human by a factor of >100. The yield of infectious virus was restored by the addition of prostaglandin E2 together with the inhibitory drug (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2002, 10.1073/pnas.052713799).

Blocking prostaglandin E2 seems to limit the production of immediate-early 2 protein — a critical...

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