To contribute to the development of novel anti-influenza drugs, we investigated the anti-influenza activity of crude extracts from 118 medicinal plants collected in Myanmar. We discovered that extract from the stems of Jatropha multifida Linn. showed anti-influenza activity. J. multifida has been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of various diseases, and the stem has been reported to possess antimicrobial, antimalarial, and antitumor activities. However, the anti-influenza activity of this extract has not yet been investigated.
We prepared water (H2O), ethyl acetate (EtOAc), n-hexane (Hex), and chloroform (CHCl3) extracts from the stems of J. multifida collected in Myanmar, and examined the survival of Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells infected with the influenza A (H1N1) virus, and the inhibitory effects of these crude extracts on influenza A viral infection and growth in MDCK cells.
The H2O extracts from the stems of J. multifida promoted the survival of MDCK cells infected with the influenza A H1N1 virus. The EtOAc and CHCl3 extracts resulted in similar, but weaker, effects. The H2O, EtOAc, and CHCl3 extracts from the stems of J. multifida inhibited influenza A virus H1N1 infection; the H2O extract possessed the strongest inhibitory effect on influenza infection in MDCK cells. The EtOAc, Hex, and CHCl3 extracts all inhibited the growth of influenza A H1N1 virus, and the CHCl3 extract demonstrated the strongest activity in MDCK cells.
The H2O or CHCl3 extracts from the stems of J. multifida collected in Myanmar demonstrated the strongest inhibition of influenza A H1N1 viral infection or growth in MDCK cells, respectively. These results indicated that the stems of J. multifida could be regarded as an anti-influenza herbal medicine as well as a potential crude drug source for the development of anti-influenza compounds.