The Potential of Pine Bark and Flowers as Dengue Antivirus Candidates

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The Potential of Pine Bark and Flowers as Dengue Antivirus Candidates

Dengue virus (DENV) is a genus of flavivirus in the family Flaviviridae. This virus is a human pathogen causing a broad spectrum of clinical disease ranging from dengue fever (DF) to severe dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS).

In Indonesia, DHF first occurred as an epidemic in Jakarta and Surabaya in 1968. Until now, there is no effective antiviral or vaccine for DHF. Apart from Indonesia, other ASEAN countries that have quite large DENV outbreaks are Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Currently, there are four genotypes of dengue virus; DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, and DENV-4. The rate of transmission and spread varies widely among the four dengue serotypes. In addition, Mustafa et al. led the discovery of a new dengue virus serotype, DENV-5. The World Health Organization states that the dengue virus is spread in metropolitan cities mainly by two species of mosquitoes, Aedes agypti and Aedes albopictus.

This condition occurs mainly in the tropics and subtropics. Indonesia is declared to have the second largest biodiversity in the world, with around 40,000 endemic plant species including 6,000 medicinal plants. For this reason, natural ingredients are the main source of test materials in the development of antiviral drugs based on traditional medicines. P. merkusii or Sumatran pine is a pine native to the Southeast Asian region of Malaysia, especially in Indonesia. P. merkusii belongs to the family Pinaceae and genus Pinus. It is one of the tropical softwood tree species in Indonesia. On the island of Java, P. merkusii is a producer of pine resin. However, Indonesia is a major producer of turpentine distilled from this resin.

Traditional medicinal plants have been reported to have antiviral activity and some have been used to treat viral infections in animals and humans. Apart from Pinaceae, several members of the family Acanthaceae, Amaranthaceae, Caricaceae, Cucurbitaceae, Elaeagnaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Fagaceae, Flagellariaceae, Halymeniaceae, Labiatae, Meliaceae, Myrtaceae, Piperaceae, Phyllophoraceae, Poaceae, Rhizophoraceae, Verbeniaceae, and Zo, Songilieriaceae have been reported. as anti-dengue.

Many studies have reported that the medicinal properties of P. merkusii are caused by its phytochemicals, including saponins, flavonoids, lignans, polyphenols, triterpenes, sterols, triterpenoids, glycosides, and alkaloids. P. merkusii is an important source of pycnogenol containing proanthocyanidins (procyanidins). Proanthocyanidins are powerful free radical scavengers, antibacterial, vasodilating, anticancer, hypoallergenic, anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective, immune system stimulating, antidiabetic, and anti-atherosclerosis.

In addition, proanthocyanidins are natural compounds found in many Pine plants. Proanthocyanidins are present in flowers, bark, fruits, and seeds of various plants as a defense against biotic and abiotic stress. Chemically it is an oligomeric and polymeric product of the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway. Flavonoids are a class of polyphenolic compounds that have significant human health benefits and are described as less toxic than other plant compounds. In addition, several studies have shown that flavonoids exert significant antiviral activity against a number of common viruses including Aichi virus, dengue virus, canine distemper virus, and several others. There have also been reports of inhibition of the viral replication cycle by flavones, a subgroup of flavonoids that includes compounds such as baicalein.

P. merkusii is a good source of traditional medicine and provides an important basis in pharmaceutical biology for the development or formulation of new drugs and for future clinical use to combat DENV infection. In addition, the formation of new anti-dengue products from bioactive compounds is needed to find anti-dengue drugs that are more effective and less toxic. Therefore, any comprehensive study of the potency of medicinal plants with isolated active compounds that have demonstrated anti-dengue activity should undergo additional in vitro and in vivo animal testing followed by toxicity and clinical trials. This may lead to the discovery of compounds that are promising to be optimized and thus considered suitable for application in the production of new anti-dengue compounds. In this study, we revealed that the stem and flower bark of P. merkusii inhibited DENV-2 in Vero cells with IC50 = 140.63 g/mL and 73.78 g/mL, CC50 = 89.65 g/mL and 249.5 g. g/mL, SI= 0.64 and 3.38, respectively.

Author: Teguh Hari Sucipto

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Picture's Source : Indozone

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