Inhibition of development of Kaposi's sarcoma-related lesions by a bacterial cell wall complex

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Science  13 Mar 1992:
Vol. 255, Issue 5050, pp. 1437-1440
DOI: 10.1126/science.1371891


In vitro and in vivo model systems for the study of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) were used to evaluate compounds for their potential as therapeutic agents. A sulfated polysaccharide-peptidoglycan compound (SP-PG) produced by bacteria controlled the in vitro growth of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-associated, KS-derived spindle-shaped cells (AIDS-KS cells) at noncytotoxic concentrations. Angiogenesis induced by AIDS-KS cells in the chicken chorioallantoic membrane assay was blocked by SP-PG, which also inhibited the vascular hyperpermeability response and the angiogenesis associated with the induction of KS-like lesions that develop after subcutaneous inoculation of AIDS-KS cells into nude mice. Suramin, pentosan polysulfate, and interferon alpha, which are currently in use for therapy of KS, were either less effective than SP-PG or much more cytotoxic, or both.