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Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy

In vitro mitochondrial toxicity of metacavir, a new nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor for treatment of hepatitis B virus.


PMID 20805401

Abstract

Therapy with nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) can be associated with mitochondrial toxicity. In vitro studies have been used to predict the predisposition for and characterize the mechanisms causing mitochondrial toxicity. Metacavir (PNA) is a novel synthetic nucleoside analog for oral administration with potent and specific antiviral activity against hepatitis B virus (HBV). We assessed the potential for mitochondrial toxicity of PNA in long-term cultures of HepG2 hepatoma cells by measuring mitochondrial function (through lactate secretion), levels of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), and the activities of respiratory-chain complexes I to IV. Exposure of HepG2 cells to PNA at concentrations up to 50 μM for 15 days resulted in no deleterious effect on cell proliferation, levels of lactate or mtDNA, or enzyme activities of respiratory-chain complexes I to IV. In contrast, dideoxycytosine at 10 μM and zidovudine at 50 μM have significant effects on cell proliferation, levels of lactate and mtDNA, and enzyme activities of respiratory-chain complexes I to IV. However, PNA at a supratherapeutic concentration of 250 μM could result in significant alterations in the levels of mtDNA and the activities of respiratory-chain complex enzymes, revealing evidence of the potential mitochondrial toxicity of PNA. In summary, these in vitro results indicate that the potential for PNA to interfere with mitochondrial functions is low.