Traditional Chinese medicine herbal extracts of Cibotium barometz, Gentiana scabra, Dioscorea batatas, Cassia tora, and Taxillus chinensis inhibit SARS-CoV replication.
J Tradit Complement Med. 2011 Oct ;1(1):41-50. PMID: 24716104
Development of anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) agents is pivotal to prevent the reemergence of the life-threatening disease, SARS. In this study, more than 200 extracts from Chinese medicinal herbs were evaluated for anti-SARS-CoV activities using a cell-based assay that measured SARS-CoV-induced cytopathogenic effect (CPE) in vitro on Vero E6 cells. Six herbal extracts, one each from Gentianae Radix ( lóng dǎn; the dried rhizome of Gentiana scabra), Dioscoreae Rhizoma ( shān yào; the tuber of Dioscorea batatas), Cassiae Semen ( jué míng zǐ; the dried seed of Cassia tora) and Loranthi Ramus ( sāng jì shēng; the dried stem, with leaf of Taxillus chinensis) (designated as GSH, DBM, CTH andTCH, respectively), and two from Rhizoma Cibotii ( gǒu jǐ; the dried rhizome of Cibotium barometz) (designated as CBE and CBM), were found to be potent inhibitors of SARS-CoV at concentrations between 25 and 200 μg/ml. The concentrations of the six extracts needed to inhibit 50% of Vero E6 cell proliferation (CC50) and 50% of viral replication (EC50) were determined. The resulting selective index values (SI = CC50/EC50) of the most effective extracts CBE, GSH, DBM, CTH and TCH were>59.4,>57.5,>62.1,>59.4, and>92.9, respectively. Among these extracts, CBM and DBM also showed significant inhibition of SARS-CoV 3CL protease activity with IC50 values of 39μg/ml and 44 μg/ml, respectively. Our findings suggest that these six herbal extracts may have potential as candidates for future development of anti-SARS therapeutics.AbbreviationsSARS,severe acute respiratory syndromeCoV,coronavirusCPE,cytopathogenic effectTCM,traditional Chinese medicine.