Astragaloside IV inhibits adenovirus replication and apoptosis in A549 cells in vitro

J Pharm Pharmacol. 2011 May;63(5):688-94. doi: 10.1111/j.2042-7158.2011.01258.x.


Objectives: Astragaloside IV, purified from the Chinese medical herb Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch) Bge and Astragalus caspicus Bieb, is an important natural product with multiple pharmacological actions. This study investigated the anti-ADVs effect of astragaloside IV on HAdV-3 (human adenovirus type 3) in A549 cell.

Methods: CPE, MTT, quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), flow cytometry (FCM) and Western blot were apply to detect the cytotoxicity, the inhibition and the mechanisms of astragaloside IV on HAdV-3.

Key findings: TC(0 ) of astragaloside IV was 116.8 µm, the virus inhibition rate from 15.98% to 65.68% positively was correlated with the concentration of astragaloside IV from 1.25 µm to 80 µm, IC50 (the medium inhibitory concentration) was 23.85 µm, LC50 (lethal dose 50% concentration) was 865.26 µm and the TI (therapeutic index) was 36.28. qPCR result showed astragaloside IV inhibited the replication of HAdV-3. Flow FCM analysis demonstrated that the anti-HAdV-3 effect was associated with apoptosis. Astragaloside IV was further detected to reduce the protein expressions of Bax and Caspase-3 and increasing the protein expressions of Bcl-2 using western blotting, which improved the anti-apoptosis mechanism of astragaloside IV on HAdV-3.

Conclusions: Our findings suggested that astragaloside IV possessed anti-HAdV-3 capabilities and the underlying mechanisms might involve inhibiting HAdV-3 replication and HAdV-3-induced apoptosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / drug effects*
  • Adenoviridae / pathogenicity
  • Adenoviridae / physiology
  • Adenoviridae Infections / drug therapy*
  • Adenoviridae Infections / metabolism
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Astragalus propinquus / chemistry*
  • Caspase 3 / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Humans
  • Inhibitory Concentration 50
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Saponins / pharmacology*
  • Triterpenes / pharmacology*
  • Virus Replication / drug effects
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein / metabolism


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Saponins
  • Triterpenes
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • astragaloside A
  • Caspase 3