Procyanidins and butanol extract of Cinnamomi Cortex inhibit SARS-CoV infection

Antiviral Res. 2009 Apr;82(1):73-81. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2009.02.001. Epub 2009 Feb 11.


We found that the butanol fraction of Cinnamomi Cortex (CC/Fr.2) showed moderate inhibitory activity in wild-type severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (wtSARS-CoV) and HIV/SARS-CoV S pseudovirus infections. The inhibition on pseudovirus was also seen in cells pretreated with the CC and CC/Fr.2 (IC(50S), 283.4+/-16.3 and 149.5+/-13.5 microg/ml, respectively), however the highest activities on wtSARS-CoV were observed when the viruses were treated by the extracts before challenging (IC(50S), 43.1+/-2.8 and 7.8+/-0.3 microg/ml; SIs, 8.4 and 23.1, respectively). Among the compounds fractionated from CC, procyanidin A2 and procyanidin B1 showed moderate anti-wtSARS-CoV activity (IC(50S), 29.9+/-3.3 and 41.3+/-3.4 microM; SIs, 37.35 and 15.69, respectively). We also sought to determine whether they could interfere with the clathrin-dependent endocytosis pathway using transferrin receptor (TfR) as an indicator. CC/Fr.2 inhibited the internalization of TfR but the procyanidins did not. Taken together, CC/Fr.2 contains unknown substances, that could inhibit the infection, probably by interfering with endocytosis, and it also contains procyanidins that did not inhibit the internalization but inhibited the infection. Therefore, CC extracts contain anti-virus activities that act through distinct mechanisms according to differences in the compounds or mixtures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Butanols / chemistry
  • Cell Line
  • Down-Regulation*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / chemistry
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry*
  • Proanthocyanidins / chemistry
  • Proanthocyanidins / pharmacology*
  • SARS Virus / drug effects
  • SARS Virus / physiology*
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / virology*


  • Butanols
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • cinnamomi cortex