Abacavir, didanosine and tenofovir do not induce inflammatory, apoptotic or oxidative stress genes in coronary endothelial cells

Chul Kim, Samir K. Gupta, Linden Green, Brian M. Taylor, Maja Deuter-Reinhard, Zeruesenay Desta, Matthias Clauss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Background: The use of abacavir and didanosine in HAART has been associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction in HIV-infected patients. The aim of this study was to address the development of endothelial dysfunction in cultivated coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAECs) in response to abacavir, didanosine and tenofovir. We examined the impact of these drugs on the expression levels of the proinflammatory, oxidative stress and apoptosis regulating genes in HCAECs. Methods: We tested gene and protein expression changes in HCAECs in response to abacavir, didanosine and tenofovir using quantitative real-time reverse transciptase PCR, FACS and ELISA. The assessed genes/proteins included the proinflammatory molecules VCAM-1, ICAM-1, MCP-1, RANTES and IL-6. In addition, we assessed the gene expression of the intracellular reactive oxygen producing NADPH oxidase subunit gp91 PHOX and the apoptosis regulating molecules Bcl-2 and BAD. Results: Exposure of HCAECs to abacavir, didanosine and tenofovir resulted in no statistically significant changes in any of the tested genes/proteins at any time point or at any concentration. Conclusions: We found no evidence that abacavir, didanosine or tenofovir had direct in vitro effects on coronary endothelial cell gene transcription and protein expression of the selected mediators. If abacavir or didanosine increase cardiovascular risk, it is likely not through the direct endothelial activation pathways tested in these experiments. However, further studies are needed to completely exclude the toxicity of abacavir or didanosine on endothelial cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1335-1339
Number of pages5
JournalAntiviral Therapy
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 19 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this