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Viruses 2014, 6(4), 1861-1875; doi:10.3390/v6041861

Characterization of the Anti-Influenza Activity of the Chinese Herbal Plant Paeonia lactiflora

1 Department of Biochemistry, Chang Gung University, Kweishan, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan 2 Department of Cosmetic Science, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Kweishan, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan 3 Research Center for Emerging Viral Infections, Chang Gung University, Kweishan, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan 4 Department of Medical Research, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kweishan, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 January 2014 / Revised: 20 March 2014 / Accepted: 8 April 2014 / Published: 23 April 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Antivirals & Vaccines)
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Bai Shao (BS, the root of Paeonia lactiflora Pall.), a common Chinese herb in many recipes used to treat viral infection and liver diseases, is recognized for its ability to nourish menstruation, its Yin convergence, and as an antiperspirant. However, the mechanism and components for its antiviral function remain to be elucidated. In this study, an ethanolic extract of BS was further partitioned into aqueous and organic parts (EAex) for in vitro functional study and in vivo efficacy testing. EAex exhibited an IC50 of 0.016 ± 0.005 mg/mL against influenza virus A/WSN/33 (H1N1), with broad-spectrum inhibitory activity against different strains of human influenza A viruses, including clinical oseltamivir-resistant isolates and an H1N1pdm strain. The synthesis of both viral RNA and protein was profoundly inhibited when the cells were treated with EAex. A time-of-addition assay demonstrated that EAex exerted its antiviral activity at various stages of the virus replication cycle. We addressed its antiviral activity at virus entry and demonstrated that EAex inhibits viral hemagglutination and viral binding to and penetration into host cells. In vivo animal testing showed that 200 mg/kg/d of EAex offered significant protection against viral infection. We conclude that BS possesses antiviral activity and has the potential for development as an anti-influenza agent.
Keywords: antiviral; Bai Shao; herbaceous peony; influenza virus; Paeonia lactiflora Pall antiviral; Bai Shao; herbaceous peony; influenza virus; Paeonia lactiflora Pall
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Ho, J.-Y.; Chang, H.-W.; Lin, C.-F.; Liu, C.-J.; Hsieh, C.-F.; Horng, J.-T. Characterization of the Anti-Influenza Activity of the Chinese Herbal Plant Paeonia lactiflora. Viruses 2014, 6, 1861-1875.

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