Evaluation of anti-dengue activity of Carica papaya aqueous leaf extract and its role in platelet augmentation.
Arch Virol. 2019 Apr ;164(4):1095-1110. Epub 2019 Feb 21. PMID: 30790105
Dengue disease is characterized by a marked decrease in platelet count, which is life threatening. In the present study, we investigated the antiviral activity of an aqueous extract of Carica papaya leaves (PLE) against dengue virus (DENV) and its effect on platelet augmentation. The anti-dengue activity of PLE in DENV-infected THP-1 cells was examined by immunoblotting and flow cytometry. The effect of PLE on erythrocyte damage was investigated using hemolytic and anti-hemolytic assays. Virus-infected THP-1 cells were assayed for IFN-α secretion. The effect of PLE on platelet augmentation in rats with cyclophosphamide-induced thrombocytopenia was also investigated. The platelet count of blood from the retro-orbital plexus of rats was determined on the 1, 4, 7, 11and 14day of study. On the 14day, the rats were sacrificed for histopathological examination of the liver, kidney and spleen. Plasma of thrombocytopenic rats was tested for thrombopoietin (TPO) and IL-6 secretion. The data suggest that PLE significantly decreases the expression of the envelope and NS1 proteins in DENV-infected THP-1 cells. A marked decrease in intracellular viral load upon PLE treatment confirmed its antiviral activity. This also resulted in a significant decrease in erythrocyte damage and hydrogen-peroxide-induced lipid peroxidation. A significant increase in the number of platelets was found in thrombocytopenic rats treated with PLE, along with an increase in IL-6 and TPO levels. These findings suggest that PLE can potentially be used as an antiviral agent, as it helps in platelet augmentation and exhibits antiviral activity against DENV.