The importance of light in the anti-HIV effect of hypericin.
Antiviral Res. 1993 Feb;20(2):173-8. PMID: 8460933
Division of Medical Microbiology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
The requirement for light in the anti-HIV-1 activity of hypericin was investigated. The hypericin concentration-dependence and light dosage-dependence of the reaction were measured. Under conditions in which hypericin caused substantial inactivation of HIV-1, there was a strict requirement for visible light. Only when the concentration of hypericin approached the cytotoxic level was there an apparent light-independent antiviral effect. This strict light-requirement for the antiviral effect could explain some of the apparently discrepant results reported by other workers. Furthermore if hypericin is contemplated for use in humans, the importance of light must be considered.