Polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid

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Polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid, sodium salt
Poly I-C structure.svg
Systematic (IUPAC) name
poly[(2R,3S,4R,5R)-5-(4-amino-2-oxopyrimidin-1-yl)-3,4-dihydroxyoxolan-2-yl]methyl dihydrogen phosphate;
Clinical data
24939-03-5 YesY
PubChem CID 32744
Chemical data
Formula (C10H10N4NaO7P)x • (C9H11N3NaO7P)x
 N (what is this?)  (verify)

Polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (usually abbreviated poly I:C) is an immunostimulant. It is used in the form of its sodium salt to simulate viral infections.[1]

Poly I:C is known to interact with toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3), which is expressed in the membrane of B-cells, macrophages and dendritic cells. Poly I:C is structurally similar to double-stranded RNA, which is present in some viruses and is a "natural" stimulant of TLR3. Thus, Poly I:C can be considered a synthetic analog of double-stranded RNA and is a common tool for scientific research on the immune system.


Poly I:C is a mismatched double-stranded RNA with one strand being a polymer of inosinic acid, the other a polymer of cytidylic acid.


  1. ^ Fortier ME, Kent S, Ashdown H, Poole S, Boksa P, Luheshi GN (2004). "The viral mimic, polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid, induces fever in rats via an interleukin-1-dependent mechanism". Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol. 287 (4): R759–66. doi:10.1152/ajpregu.00293.2004. PMID 15205185. 

A New Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC) Paradigm:Polarization into a Pro-Inflammatory MSC1 or anImmunosuppressive MSC2 Phenotype:Ruth S. Waterman1, Suzanne L. Tomchuck2, Sarah L. Henkle2, Aline M. Betancourt2:April 2010 | Volume 5 | Issue 4 | e10088