Various cobalamins act as important enzyme cofactors and modulate cellular function. We investigated cobalamins for their abilities to modify productive human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infection of hematopoietic cells in vitro. We show that hydroxocobalamin (OH-Cbl), methylcobalamin (Me-Cbl), and adenosylcobalamin Ado-Cbl (Ado-Cbl) inhibit HIV-1 infection of normal human blood monocytes and lymphocytes. The inhibitory effects were noted when analyzing the monocytotropic strains HIV-1-BaL and HIV-1-ADA as well as the lymphocytotropic strain HIV-1-LAI. Cobalamins did not modify binding of gp120 to CD4 or block early steps in viral life cycle, inhibit reverse transcriptase, inhibit induction of HIV-1 expression from cells with established or latent infection, or modify monocyte interferon-alpha production. Because of the ability to achieve high blood and tissue levels of cobalamins in vivo and the general lack of toxicity, cobalamins should be considered as potentially useful agents for the treatment of HIV-1 infection.

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