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, 2011, 253643

Screening for Antiviral Activities of Isolated Compounds From Essential Oils

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Screening for Antiviral Activities of Isolated Compounds From Essential Oils

Akram Astani et al. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med.

Abstract

Essential oil of star anise as well as phenylpropanoids and sesquiterpenes, for example, trans-anethole, eugenol, β-eudesmol, farnesol, β-caryophyllene and β-caryophyllene oxide, which are present in many essential oils, were examined for their antiviral activity against herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) in vitro. Antiviral activity was analyzed by plaque reduction assays and mode of antiviral action was determined by addition of the drugs to uninfected cells, to the virus prior to infection or to herpesvirus-infected cells. Star anise oil reduced viral infectivity by >99%, phenylpropanoids inhibited HSV infectivity by about 60-80% and sesquiterpenes suppressed herpes virus infection by 40-98%. Both, star anise essential oil and all isolated compounds exhibited anti-HSV-1 activity by direct inactivation of free virus particles in viral suspension assays. All tested drugs interacted in a dose-dependent manner with herpesvirus particles, thereby inactivating viral infectivity. Star anise oil, rich in trans-anethole, revealed a high selectivity index of 160 against HSV, whereas among the isolated compounds only β-caryophyllene displayed a high selectivity index of 140. The presence of β-caryophyllene in many essential oils might contribute strongly to their antiviral ability. These results indicate that phenylpropanoids and sesquiterpenes present in essential oils contribute to their antiviral activity against HSV.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Structural formulas of phenylpropanoids and sesquiterpenes.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Antiviral activity of serial dilutions of (a) star anise oil, phenylpropanoids and (b) sesquiterpenes against HSV-1 in viral suspension assays. Diluted drugs were tested up to the maximum noncytotoxic concentration. Number of virus plaques was determined 3 days after infection and compared to untreated control. Results are presented as percentage of plaque reduction, experiments were repeated independently and data are the mean of three experiments ± SD.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Antiviral activity of star anise essential oil and different compounds of essential oils against HSV in time of addition assays. (a) Pretreatment of cells with drugs, (b) pretreatment of virus with drugs and (c) addition of drugs during intracellular replication of HSV. Number of virus plaques was determined 3 days after infection and compared to untreated control. Results are presented as percentage of plaque reduction and are the mean of three independent experiments ± SD and statistically significant results are marked with asterisk.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Star anise oil, phenylpropanoids and sesquiterpenes exhibited antiviral activity by direct interaction with free virus particles. Pretreatment of cells with the drugs had no effect on viral infectivity, neither during intracellular viral replication.

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