2021-06-23Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.3390/ijms22136766
Comparative Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Salix Cortex Extracts and Acetylsalicylic Acid in SARS-CoV-2 Peptide and LPS-Activated Human In Vitro Systems
The usefulness of anti-inflammatory drugs as an adjunct therapy to improve outcomes in COVID-19 patients is intensely discussed. Willow bark (Salix cortex) has been used for centuries to relieve pain, inflammation, and fever. Its main active ingredient, salicin, is metabolized in the human body into salicylic acid, the precursor of the commonly used pain drug acetylsalicylic acid (ASA). Here, we report on the in vitro anti-inflammatory efficacy of two methanolic Salix extracts, standardized to phenolic compounds, in comparison to ASA in the context of a SARS-CoV-2 peptide challenge. Using SARS-CoV-2 peptide/IL-1β- or LPS-activated human PBMCs and an inflammatory intestinal Caco-2/HT29-MTX co-culture, Salix extracts, and ASA concentration-dependently suppressed prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), a principal mediator of inflammation. The inhibition of COX-2 enzyme activity, but not protein expression was observed for ASA and one Salix extract. In activated PBMCs, the suppression of relevant cytokines (i.e., IL-6, IL-1β, and IL-10) was seen for both Salix extracts. The anti-inflammatory capacity of Salix extracts was still retained after transepithelial passage and liver cell metabolism in an advanced co-culture model system consisting of intestinal Caco-2/HT29-MTX cells and differentiated hepatocyte-like HepaRG cells. Taken together, our in vitro data suggest that Salix extracts might present an additional anti-inflammatory treatment option in the context of SARS-CoV-2 peptides challenge; however, more confirmatory data are needed.
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