Elucidation of flavonoids from potent Iranian Scutellaria species against Influenza A (H1N1) virus

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Medicinal Plants Research Center, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Influenza and Respiratory Viruses Department, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Radiopharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

6 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Objective(s): Influenza A virus (IAV) is a contagious illness. Different species of Scutellaria genus are used as a traditional remedy to reduce influenza symptoms. This study aimed to investigate the anti-influenza capacity of several species of Iranian Scutellaria and identify active compounds of the most potent species for the first time.
Materials and Methods: Some Iranian species of Scutellaria were collected from different regions of Iran, including S. pinnatifida with mucida, viridis, and alpina subspecies; S. tournefortii; S. tomentosa; S. persica. They were fractionated to chloroform and methanol. The total phenols and flavonoids of samples were examined by the folin-ciocalteau and aluminum-flavonoid complex methods, respectively. The 50% cytotoxic concentrations (CC50) on MDCK cells and non-cytotoxic concentrations (NCTC) were determined by MTT assay. The percentage of cell protection against IAV and their effect on virus titer were investigated in pre-, post-, and co-penetration treatment groups. Phytochemicals of the most effective species were isolated by various chromatographic methods and identified by different spectroscopic methods.
Results: Methanol fraction of S. pinnatifida subsp. viridis demonstrated the highest amounts of flavonoid content and best activity against influenza A virus in all combination treatments, which reduced the virus titer by 5 logs with no cytotoxicity. Kaempferol-3-O-glucoside, quercetin-3-O-glucoside, apigenin-4′-methoxy-7-O-glucoside, luteolin, and luteolin-7-O-glucoside were purified and identified from this species.
Conclusion: Scutellaria pinnatifida subsp. viridis can be introduced as a source of flavonoids with acceptable anti-influenza activity. S. tomentosa also showed potent antiviral effects and is a candidate for elucidation in further studies.


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