In Vitro Studies of the Impact of Maribavir on CMV-Specific Cellular Immune Responses

Stachel et al., J Clin Virol. (2015) - PMID: 26780109

Product(s) used in this publication: PepMix™ Peptide Pools



Ganciclovir has demonstrated immunosuppressive effects in vitro which may lead to delayed cytomegalovirus (CMV)-specific immune reconstitution when the drug is given prophylactically. Maribavir is a new and more potent anti-CMV drug that is under evaluation for therapeutic use in transplant recipients.


The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential effect of maribavir on CMV-specific T cell function in comparison to ganciclovir.


In ten immunocompetent CMV seropositive donors, maribavir and ganciclovir were compared over a broad range of concentrations (0.2-500μM) regarding their effects on lymphoproliferation, CMV-specific CD4+ and CD8+ cytokine expression, T cell multifunctionality, degranulation and apoptosis.


Maribavir inhibited lymphocyte proliferation at concentrations of 50μM and above, however, cytokine expression, cellular degranulation and multifunctionality of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in response to CMV lysate and pp65 peptide mix were not impaired except at the highest concentration of 500μM. Ganciclovir inhibited lymphoproliferative responses starting at 10μM. As with maribavir, other cellular responses following stimulation with CMV lysate and pp65 peptide mix were only impaired at the highest concentration of 500μM of ganciclovir. Neither maribavir nor ganciclovir showed induction of lymphocyte apoptosis.


Maribavir exhibits a low potential to suppress CMV-specific T cell function. This finding supports the use of higher doses in the prophylactic setting than originally proposed.

Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.


Ganciclovir; Maribavir; T cell responses

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