Vertebrate brains contain a broadly active antiviral substance

Indra P. Singh, Ashok K. Chopra, Dorian H Coppenhaver, Edna Smith, Joyce Poast, Samuel Baron

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Brain tissue extracts from vertebrates were examined for non-specific, broad-spectrum virus inhibitors, previously identified and characterized from other body tissues and fluids. An antiviral activity found in human, bovine, ovine, porcine, lapine, murine and piscine brain tissues shares some properties with a contact blocking-virus inhibitor, which was previously found only in cell culture supernatants. The inhibitor was active against (in order of sensitivity to inhibitor) Banzi, Sindbis, Bunyamwera, Newcastle disease, herpes simplex I, Semliki forest, polio I, mengo, vaccinia and vesicular stomatitis viruses. It is approximately 4000 kDa and possesses a complex structure containing protein, carbohydrate and lipid moieties. The inhibitor does not directly neutralize virus or induce an antiviral state in cells, but appears to act early in the replication cycle, most likely by preventing virus attachment to target cells. Its occurrence in concentrations sufficient to reduce virus yield in cell cultures at least 30-fold may indicate a role in limiting viral infections of the central nervous system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-388
Number of pages14
JournalAntiviral research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Antiviral agent
  • Host defense
  • Sindbis virus
  • Virus inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Virology


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