Interest in the use of gold complexes in this context was initiated by a clinical observation that indicated that an AIDS patient, who was being treated with Auranofin for psoriatic arthritis, experienced increasing CD4+ T lymphocyte counts. This is a significant observation, as patients with AIDS usually suffer an irreversible decline of these cells.98 Consequently, the testing of a variety of gold compounds against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was undertaken. While the literature on advances made with gold complexes is sparse, it is known that [Au(CN)2]_, a known metabolite of Chrysotherapy, can inhibit the proliferation of HIV in cultured T-9 cells (a strain of CD4+ T-cells) at concentrations as low as 20 nm.99 Other Au(I) species, including gold drugs, have also been studied. Gold thioglucose (3) does not readily enter cells (see earlier) and therefore is not effective against HIV in cultured cells.37,100 Phos-phinegold(I) cyanide species are too cytotoxic, killing cells at concentrations lower than those required to display anti-viral activity.37
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