- Glycyrrhizin exerts antioxidative effects in H5N1 influenza A virus-infected cells and inhibits virus replication and pro-inflammatory gene expression (2011)
- Glycyrrhizin is known to exert antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects. Here, the effects of an approved parenteral glycyrrhizin preparation (Stronger Neo-Minophafen C) were investigated on highly pathogenic influenza A H5N1 virus replication, H5N1-induced apoptosis, and H5N1-induced pro-inflammatory responses in lung epithelial (A549) cells. Therapeutic glycyrrhizin concentrations substantially inhibited H5N1-induced expression of the pro-inflammatory molecules CXCL10, interleukin 6, CCL2, and CCL5 (effective glycyrrhizin concentrations 25 to 50 µg/ml) but interfered with H5N1 replication and H5N1-induced apoptosis to a lesser extent (effective glycyrrhizin concentrations 100 µg/ml or higher). Glycyrrhizin also diminished monocyte migration towards supernatants of H5N1-infected A549 cells. The mechanism by which glycyrrhizin interferes with H5N1 replication and H5N1-induced pro-inflammatory gene expression includes inhibition of H5N1-induced formation of reactive oxygen species and (in turn) reduced activation of NFKappaB, JNK, and p38, redox-sensitive signalling events known to be relevant for influenza A virus replication. Therefore, glycyrrhizin may complement the arsenal of potential drugs for the treatment of H5N1 disease.
- Single HA2 mutation increases the infectivity and immunogenicity of a live attenuated H5N1 intranasal influenza vaccine candidate lacking NS1 (2011)
- Background: H5N1 influenza vaccines, including live intranasal, appear to be relatively less immunogenic compared to seasonal analogs. The main influenza virus surface glycoprotein hemagglutinin (HA) of highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIV) was shown to be more susceptible to acidic pH treatment than that of human or low pathogenic avian influenza viruses. The acidification machinery of the human nasal passageway in response to different irritation factors starts to release protons acidifying the mucosal surface (down to pH of 5.2). We hypothesized that the sensitivity of H5 HA to the acidic environment might be the reason for the low infectivity and immunogenicity of intranasal H5N1 vaccines for mammals. Methodology/Principal Findings: We demonstrate that original human influenza viruses infect primary human nasal epithelial cells at acidic pH (down to 5.4), whereas H5N1 HPAIVs lose infectivity at pH <= 5.6. The HA of A/Vietnam/1203/04 was modified by introducing the single substitution HA2 58K -> I, decreasing the pH of the HA conformational change. The H5N1 reassortants containing the indicated mutation displayed an increased resistance to acidic pH and high temperature treatment compared to those lacking modification. The mutation ensured a higher viral uptake as shown by immunohistochemistry in the respiratory tract of mice and 25 times lower mouse infectious dose50. Moreover, the reassortants keeping 58K -> I mutation designed as a live attenuated vaccine candidate lacking an NS1 gene induced superior systemic and local antibody response after the intranasal immunization of mice. Conclusion/Significance: Our finding suggests that an efficient intranasal vaccination with a live attenuated H5N1 virus may require a certain level of pH and temperature stability of HA in order to achieve an optimal virus uptake by the nasal epithelial cells and induce a sufficient immune response. The pH of the activation of the H5 HA protein may play a substantial role in the infectivity of HPAIVs for mammals.