Influenza is an acute transmissible respiratory infectious disease in humans and animals with high morbidity and mortality. It was reported that luteolin, extracted from Chinese herbs, could potently inhibit influenza virus replication in vitro. To assess the effect and explore the fundamental mechanism of luteolin, we infected several cell lines with two subtypes of influenza A virus (IAV), including A/Jiangxi/312/2006 (H3N2) and A/Fort Monmouth/1/1947 (H1N1) and demonstrated that luteolin suppressed the replication of IAV by cytopathic effect reduction method, qRT-PCR, immunofluorescence and Western blot assays. A time-of-addition assay indicated that this compound interfered with viral replication at the early stage of infection. In addition, we found that luteolin suppressed coat protein I complex expression, which was related to influenza virus entry and endocytic pathway. Overall, our findings demonstrated the antiviral effect of luteolin against IAV and its novel antiviral mechanism.
Keywords: Antiviral activity; COPI; Influenza A virus; Luteolin.