Zika virus (ZIKV) infection in utero might lead to microcephaly and other congenital defects. Since no specific therapy is available thus far, there is an urgent need for the discovery of agents capable of inhibiting its viral replication and deleterious effects. Chloroquine is widely used as an antimalarial drug, anti-inflammatory agent, and it also shows antiviral activity against several viruses. Here we show that chloroquine exhibits antiviral activity against ZIKV in Vero cells, human brain microvascular endothelial cells, human neural stem cells, and mouse neurospheres. We demonstrate that chloroquine reduces the number of ZIKV-infected cells in vitro, and inhibits virus production and cell death promoted by ZIKV infection without cytotoxic effects. In addition, chloroquine treatment partially reveres morphological changes induced by ZIKV infection in mouse neurospheres.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento e Pesquisa (CNPq), Funda??o de Amparo ? Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ), and Departamento de Doen?as Sexualmente Transmissiveis, AIDS e Hepatites Virais do Minist?rio da Sa?de do Brasil. The authors acknowledge Manoel Itamar for providing technical support.
- Neural stem cell
- Zika virus