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1.
Front Pharmacol ; 13: 874375, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933742

ABSTRACT

Excessive proinflammatory cytokine production induced by abnormal activation of Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling, for example, by SARS-CoV-2 infection, can cause a fatal cytokine storm. The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) fluoxetine and fluvoxamine, used to treat depression, were recently reported to reduce the risk of severe disease in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but the mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory effects of SSRIs, and which SSRI would be most suitable as an anti-inflammatory drug, remain unclear. Here, we examined the inhibitory effects of 5 FDA-approved SSRIs, paroxetine, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, sertraline and escitalopram, on the production of interleukin-6 (IL-6) induced by stimulation with multiple TLR agonists in murine macrophages and dendritic cells, and on the production of cytokines induced by concanavalin A in murine lymphocytes. In J774.1 murine macrophage cells, pretreatment with SSRIs significantly suppressed IL-6 release induced by TLR3 agonist poly(I:C), TLR4 agonist LPS or TLR9 agonist CpG ODN, but did not affect IL-6 release induced by TLR7 agonists imiquimod or resiquimod. In accordance with the results obtained in J774.1 cells, pretreatment with SSRIs also suppressed IL-6 release induced by a TLR3, TLR4 or TLR9 agonist in bone marrow-derived dendritic cells and peritoneal cells of C57BL/6 mice. On the other hand, interestingly, sertraline alone among the SSRIs amplified IL-6 production induced by TLR7 agonists in murine dendritic cells, though not in macrophages. Concanavalin A-induced production of IL-6 or IL-2 in murine lymphocytes was suppressed by SSRIs, suggesting that SSRIs also inhibit TLRs-independent IL-6 production. Since SSRIs suppressed both IL-6 production induced by multiple TLR agonists in macrophages or dendritic cells and TLR-independent IL-6 production in lymphocytes, they are promising candidates for treatment of patients with cytokine storm, which is mediated by overactivation of multiple TLRs in a complex manner, leading to the so-called IL-6 amplifier, an IL-6 overproduction loop. However, the 5 SSRIs examined here all showed different effects. Overall, our results suggest that fluoxetine may be the most promising candidate as an anti-inflammatory drug. An examination of the structural requirements indicated that the N-methyl group of fluoxetine has a critical role in the inhibition of IL-6 production.

2.
J Nat Prod ; 85(1): 284-291, 2022 01 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1596477

ABSTRACT

We have previously reported that neoechinulin B (1a), a prenylated indole diketopiperazine alkaloid, shows antiviral activities against hepatitis C virus (HCV) via the inactivation of the liver X receptors (LXRs) and the resultant disruption of double-membrane vesicles. In this study, a two-step synthesis of the diketopiperazine scaffold of 1a was achieved by the base-induced coupling of 1,4-diacetyl-3-{[(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]methyl}piperazine-2,5-dione with aldehydes, followed by the treatment of the resultant coupling products with tetra-n-butylammonium fluoride. Compound 1a and its 16 derivatives 1b-q were prepared using this method. Furthermore, variecolorin H, a related alkaloid, was obtained by the acid treatment of 1a in MeOH. The antiviral evaluation of 1a and its derivatives revealed that 1a, 1c, 1d, 1h, 1j, 1l, and 1o exhibited both anti-HCV and anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) activities. The results of this study indicate that the exomethylene moiety on the diketopiperazine ring is important for the antiviral activities. The antiviral compounds can inhibit the production of HCV and SARS-CoV-2 by inactivating LXRs.


Subject(s)
Alkaloids/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Hepacivirus/drug effects , Piperazines/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Alkaloids/chemical synthesis , Alkaloids/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Cell Line, Tumor , Diketopiperazines/chemistry , Diketopiperazines/pharmacology , Humans , Liver X Receptors/antagonists & inhibitors , Molecular Structure , Piperazines/chemical synthesis , Piperazines/chemistry , Structure-Activity Relationship , Transcription, Genetic/drug effects
3.
Front Microbiol ; 12: 651403, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1231355

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused serious public health, social, and economic damage worldwide and effective drugs that prevent or cure COVID-19 are urgently needed. Approved drugs including Hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir or Interferon were reported to inhibit the infection or propagation of severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), however, their clinical efficacies have not yet been well demonstrated. To identify drugs with higher antiviral potency, we screened approved anti-parasitic/anti-protozoal drugs and identified an anti-malarial drug, Mefloquine, which showed the highest anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity among the tested compounds. Mefloquine showed higher anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity than Hydroxychloroquine in VeroE6/TMPRSS2 and Calu-3 cells, with IC50 = 1.28 µM, IC90 = 2.31 µM, and IC99 = 4.39 µM in VeroE6/TMPRSS2 cells. Mefloquine inhibited viral entry after viral attachment to the target cell. Combined treatment with Mefloquine and Nelfinavir, a replication inhibitor, showed synergistic antiviral activity. Our mathematical modeling based on the drug concentration in the lung predicted that Mefloquine administration at a standard treatment dosage could decline viral dynamics in patients, reduce cumulative viral load to 7% and shorten the time until virus elimination by 6.1 days. These data cumulatively underscore Mefloquine as an anti-SARS-CoV-2 entry inhibitor.

4.
iScience ; 24(4): 102367, 2021 Apr 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1157438

ABSTRACT

Antiviral treatments targeting the coronavirus disease 2019 are urgently required. We screened a panel of already approved drugs in a cell culture model of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and identified two new agents having higher antiviral potentials than the drug candidates such as remdesivir and chroloquine in VeroE6/TMPRSS2 cells: the anti-inflammatory drug cepharanthine and human immunodeficiency virus protease inhibitor nelfinavir. Cepharanthine inhibited SARS-CoV-2 entry through the blocking of viral binding to target cells, while nelfinavir suppressed viral replication partly by protease inhibition. Consistent with their different modes of action, synergistic effect of this combined treatment to limit SARS-CoV-2 proliferation was highlighted. Mathematical modeling in vitro antiviral activity coupled with the calculated total drug concentrations in the lung predicts that nelfinavir will shorten the period until viral clearance by 4.9 days and the combining cepharanthine/nelfinavir enhanced their predicted efficacy. These results warrant further evaluation of the potential anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity of cepharanthine and nelfinavir.

5.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(6)2021 Mar 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1143519

ABSTRACT

The development of effective antiviral drugs targeting the severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is urgently needed to combat the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We have previously studied the use of semi-synthetic derivatives of oxysterols, oxidized derivatives of cholesterol as drug candidates for the inhibition of cancer, fibrosis, and bone regeneration. In this study, we screened a panel of naturally occurring and semi-synthetic oxysterols for anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity using a cell culture infection assay. We show that the natural oxysterols, 7-ketocholesterol, 22(R)-hydroxycholesterol, 24(S)-hydroxycholesterol, and 27-hydroxycholesterol, substantially inhibited SARS-CoV-2 propagation in cultured cells. Among semi-synthetic oxysterols, Oxy210 and Oxy232 displayed more robust anti-SARS-CoV-2 activities, reducing viral replication more than 90% at 10 µM and 99% at 15 µM, respectively. When orally administered in mice, peak plasma concentrations of Oxy210 fell into a therapeutically relevant range (19 µM), based on the dose-dependent curve for antiviral activity in our cell-based assay. Mechanistic studies suggest that Oxy210 reduced replication of SARS-CoV-2 by disrupting the formation of double-membrane vesicles (DMVs); intracellular membrane compartments associated with viral replication. Our study warrants further evaluation of Oxy210 and Oxy232 as a safe and reliable oral medication, which could help protect vulnerable populations with increased risk of developing COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Oxysterols/chemistry , Oxysterols/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Administration, Oral , Animals , Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , Antiviral Agents/pharmacokinetics , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cell Survival/drug effects , Chlorocebus aethiops , Mice , Nucleocapsid Proteins/drug effects , Oxysterols/administration & dosage , Oxysterols/pharmacokinetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells , Viral Replication Compartments/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects
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