Potent inhibition of HIV-1 replication in resting CD4 T Cells by resveratrol and pterostilbene

Chi N. Chan, Benjamin Trinité, David N. Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


HIV-1 infection of resting CD4 T cells plays a crucial and numerically dominant role during virus transmission at mucosal sites and during subsequent acute replication and T cell depletion. Resveratrol and pterostilbene are plant stilbenoids associated with several health-promoting benefits. Resveratrol has been shown to inhibit the replication of several viruses, including herpes simplex viruses 1 and 2, papillomaviruses, severe acute respiratory syndrome virus, and influenza virus. Alone, resveratrol does not inhibit HIV-1 infection of activated T cells, but it does synergize with nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors in these cells to inhibit reverse transcription. Here, we demonstrate that resveratrol and pterostilbene completely block HIV-1 infection at a low micromolar dose in resting CD4 T cells, primarily at the reverse transcription step. The anti-HIV effect was fully reversed by exogenous deoxynucleosides and Vpx, an HIV-1 and simian immunodeficiency virus protein that increases deoxynucleoside triphosphate (dNTP) levels. These findings are consistent with the reported ability of resveratrol to inhibit ribonucleotide reductase and to lower dNTP levels in cells. This study supports the potential use of resveratrol, pterostilbene, or related compounds as adjuvants in anti-HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) formulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00408
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • PrEP
  • Pterostilbene
  • Resting CD4 T cells
  • Resveratrol
  • Reverse transcription
  • Stilbenoid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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