Lianhuaqingwen exerts anti-viral and anti-inflammatory activity against novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)

Pharmacol Res. 2020 Jun;156:104761. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2020.104761. Epub 2020 Mar 20.

Abstract

Purpose: Lianhuaqingwen (LH) as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) formula has been used to treat influenza and exerted broad-spectrum antiviral effects on a series of influenza viruses and immune regulatory effects Ding et al. (2017). The goal of this study is to demonstrate the antiviral activity of LH against the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus and its potential effect in regulating host immune response.

Methods: The antiviral activity of LH against SARS-CoV-2 was assessed in Vero E6 cells using CPE and plaque reduction assay. The effect of LH on virion morphology was visualized under transmission electron microscope. Pro-inflammatory cytokine expression levels upon SARS-CoV-2 infection in Huh-7 cells were measured by real-time quantitative PCR assays.

Results: LH significantly inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in Vero E6 cells and markedly reduced pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6, CCL-2/MCP-1 and CXCL-10/IP-10) production at the mRNA levels. Furthermore, LH treatment resulted in abnormal particle morphology of virion in cells.

Conclusions: LH significantly inhibits the SARS-COV-2 replication, affects virus morphology and exerts anti-inflammatory activity in vitro. These findings indicate that LH protects against the virus attack, making its use a novel strategy for controlling the COVID-19 disease.

Keywords: Anti-inflammatory; Coronavirus; Lianhuaqingwen; SARS-CoV-2.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Betacoronavirus / drug effects*
  • Betacoronavirus / ultrastructure
  • Cell Line
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Microscopy, Electrochemical, Scanning
  • SARS-CoV-2

Substances

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • lianhuaqingwen