Effect of Jinzhen granule on two coronaviruses: The novel SARS-CoV-2 and the HCoV-229E and the evidences for their mechanisms of action.Phytomedicine. 2022 Jan; 95:153874.P
Although severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and human coronavirus 229E (HCoV-229E) pose a huge threat to human public health, no specific treatment is available. Jinzhen granule (JZ) is a traditional eight ingredients-Chinese medicine with prominent efficacy for treating viral-induced diseases. However, little is known about the antiviral effect and mechanism of JZ against SARS-CoV-2 and HCoV-229E.
This study aimed to reveal the antiviral effects of JZ against SARS-CoV-2 and HCoV-229E, and to further explore the underlying mechanisms regulating the host immune response.
The chromatographic separation of JZ was performed using a Shimadzu analytical high-performance liquid chromatograph with UV detection and Alltech ELSD 2000ES. We conducted cytopathic effect (CPE) and plaque reduction assays to evaluate the antiviral effect of JZ. A lethal human angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) transgenic mouse model of SARS-CoV-2 was established to determine the protective effect of JZ on mortality and lung virus titers. Real-time quantitative PCR assays were used to analyze the expression of proinflammatory cytokines in vitro and in vivo. Western blotting was further performed to determine the activities on regulating the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB)/MAPK pathway. Finally, mitochondrial membrane potential assays, flow cytometry analysis and western blotting were used to assess the anti-apoptotic potency toward HCoV-229E infection.
The results showed that 13 chemical components were identified and five peaks were determined and quantitated (gallic acid 1.97 mg/g, baicalin 20.69 mg/g, glycyrrhizic acid 4.92 mg/g, hyodeoxycholic acid 4.86 mg/g, cholic acid 4.07 mg/g). We found that JZ exerted inhibitory potency against SARS-CoV-2 and HCoV-229E in vitro by using CPE and plaque reduction assays, and it was further found that JZ protected mice infected by SARS-CoV-2 from death and inhibited lung virus titers. JZ also significantly decreased the induction of inflammatory cytokines (IL-1α, IL-6, CCL-5 and MIP-1β), similar to the observed in vitro effect. Moreover, JZ suppressed the release of inflammatory cytokines in vitro and it decreased the protein expression of p-p38 MAPK, p-JNK, p-NF-κB p65 and p-IκBα induced by HCoV-229E and increased the expression of IκBα. Notably, JZ significantly protected HCoV-229E-infected Huh-7 cells from mitochondrial damage and decreased apoptotic cells. The activation of the mitochondria-mediated apoptotic pathway was inhibited by JZ, as shown by the reduced expression of cleaved caspase-9, caspase-3 and p-PARP.
In conclusion, JZ (gallic acid 1.97 mg/g, baicalin 20.69 mg/g, glycyrrhizic acid 4.92 mg/g, hyodeoxycholic acid 4.86 mg/g, cholic acid 4.07 mg/g) exhibited antiviral activities against SARS-CoV-2 and HCoV-229E by regulating the NF-κB/MAPK pathway and the mitochondria-mediated apoptotic pathway. These findings demonstrated the efficacy of JZ against CoVs and suggested JZ treatment as a novel clinical therapeutic strategy for COVID-19.