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In vitro and in vivo anti-hepatitis B virus activities of the lignan nirtetralin B isolated from Phyllanthus niruri L.

Ethnopharmacological relevance: Nirtetralin B, a new lignan first reported by our team, is isolated from Phyllanthus niruri L. This plant has long been used in folk medicine for liver protection and antihepatitis B in many Asian countries. This study was designed to evaluate the anti-hepatitis B virus activity of nirtetralin B using HepG2.2.15 cells and duck hepatitis B virus (DHBV) infected ducks as in vitro and in vivo models.

Materials and methods: Nirtetralin B was isolated from Phyllanthus niruri L. (Euphorbiaceae) by extraction and chromatographic procedures and the anti-hepatitis B virus activity was evaluated both in vitro and in vivo. The human HBV-transfected liver cell line HepG2.2.15 was used in vitro assay. And the in vivo anti-hepatitis B virus activity was evaluated on the expression of HBV replication, HBsAg, HBeAg, ALT and AST on day 0, 7, 14, 17 after nirtetralin B was dosed intragastricly (i.g.) once a day for 14 days at the dosages of 25, 50 and 100 mg/kg/day in the duck hepatitis B virus (DHBV) infected ducks.

Results: In the human HBV-transfected liver cell line HepG2.2.15, nirtetralin B effectively suppressed the secretion of the HBV antigens in a dose-dependent manner with IC50 values for HBsAg of 17.4 μM, IC50 values for HBeAg of 63.9 μM. In DHBV-infected ducklings, nirtetralin B significantly reduced the serum DHBV DNA, HBsAg, HBeAg, ALT and AST. And analysis of the liver pathological changes confirmed the hepatoprotective effect of nirtetralin B.

Conclusion: The experimental data demonstrated that nirtetralin B exhibits anti-hepatitis B virus activity both in vitro and in vivo.

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