Inhibition of cell-associated herpes simplex virus type 2 glycoproteins by delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol.

“This study was conducted to define the effect of micromolar concentrations of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta 9-THC) on the biosynthesis and expression of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV2)-specified glycoproteins. Dose-related reductions in all species of virus glycoproteins were recorded by one-dimensional SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and autoradiography of [14C]glucosamine-labeled infected Vero cells treated with 10(-7) to 10(-5) M delta 9-THC. A drug dose-related depletion of the mature HSV2 major envelope glycoprotein complex (119-kDa average molecular weight), accompanied by accumulation of immature unglycosylated species, was demonstrated by two-dimensional SDS-PAGE in concert with Western immunoblotting or autoradiography. Light and electron microscopy immunoperoxidase staining revealed that delta 9-THC effected depletion of 119-kDa determinants from the infected cell surface. This depletion occurred concomitantly with accumulation of 119-kDa components at the perinucleus. However, the expression of 119-kDa glycoproteins on the virion envelope was not affected. These results indicate that delta 9-THC inhibits the synthesis, maturation, and cellular transport of HSV2-specified glycoproteins. Decreased expression of virus glycoproteins on the infected cell surface may affect host immune responsiveness to HSV2.”

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