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Increased uptake and accumulation of vitamin C in human immunodeficiency virus 1-infected hematopoietic cell lines.

J Biol Chem 1997 Feb 28;272(9):5814-20 (ISSN: 0021-9258)

Rivas CI; Vera JC; Guaiquil VH; Velasquez FV; Borquez-Ojeda OA; Carcamo JG; Concha II; Golde DW Program in Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10021, USA.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is required for normal host defense and functions importantly in cellular redox systems. To define the interrelationship between human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and vitamin C flux at the cellular level, we analyzed vitamin C uptake and its effects on virus production and cellular proliferation in HIV-infected and uninfected human lymphoid, myeloid, and mononuclear phagocyte cell lines. Chronic or acute infection of these cell lines by HIV-1 led to increased expression of glucose transporter 1, associated with increased transport and accumulation of vitamin C. Infected cells also showed increased transport of glucose analogs. Exposure to vitamin C had a complex effect on cell proliferation and viral production. Low concentrations of vitamin C increased or decreased cell proliferation depending on the cell line and either had no effect or caused increased viral production. Exposure to high concentrations of vitamin C preferentially decreased the proliferation and survival of the HIV-infected cells and caused decreased viral production. These findings indicate that HIV infection in lymphocytic, monocytic, and myeloid cell lines leads to increased expression of glucose transporter 1 and consequent increased cellular vitamin C uptake. High concentrations of vitamin C were preferentially toxic to HIV-infected host defense cell lines in vitro.

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