1992 Volume 38 Issue 4 Pages 303-312
We have previously shown that an alkaline extract from cones of pine trees could significantly inhibit HIV-1 replication in vitro. Ultraviolet, infrared, thin-layered chromatography and nuclear magnetic resonance analyses showed that polymeric phenylpropenoids might be the active ingredient in the alkaline extract that inhibited HIV-1 replication. We synthesized polymeric phenylpropenoids by dehydrogenation of caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid, ferulic acid and coniferyl alcohol. All 4 synthetic isopolymers had anti-HIV activity comparable to that found in the alkaline pine cone extract. Additionally, 3 of the 4 polymers blocked infection of cell by herpes simplex type-1 virus. Among the monomers, only caffeic acid had anti-HIV activity, but was also toxic to cells. None of the monomers had impact on herpes simplex virus infection.