AIM: To elucidate the effect of antioxidants, resveratrol (RVT) and astaxanthin (AXN), on hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication. METHODS: We investigated the effect of recent popular antioxidant supplements on replication of the HCV replicon system OR6. RVT is a strong antioxidant and a kind of polyphenol that inhibits replication of various viruses. AXN is also a strong antioxidant. The replication of HCV RNA was assessed by the luciferase reporter assay. An additive effect of antioxidants on antiviral effects of interferon (IFN) and ribavirin (RBV) was investigated. RESULTS: This is the first report to investigate the effect of RVT and AXN on HCV replication. In contrast to other reported viruses, RVT significantly enhanced HCV RNA replication. Vitamin E also enhanced HCV RNA replication as reported previously, although AXN didnot affect replication. IFN and RBV significantly reduced HCV RNA replication, but these effects were dose-dependently hampered and attenuated by the addition of RVT. AXN didnot affect antiviral effects of IFN or RBV. CONCLUSION: These results suggested that RVT is not suitable as an antioxidant therapy for chronic hepatitis C.
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