Curcumin Inhibits In Vitro SARS-CoV-2 Infection In Vero E6 Cells through Multiple Antiviral Mechanisms
Marín-Palma et al.
, Curcumin Inhibits In Vitro SARS-CoV-2 Infection In Vero E6 Cells through Multiple Antiviral Mechanisms
, Molecules, doi:10.3390/molecules26226900 (In Vitro)
In Vitro study showing antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Inhibition was seen with Vero E6 cells pre-infection and post-infection, and with D614G and the delta variant. The anti-inflammatory effect was shown with peripheral blood mononuclear cells.
Marín-Palma et al., 16 Nov 2021, peer-reviewed, 9 authors.
In Vitro studies are an important part of preclinical research, however results may be very different in vivo.
Curcumin Inhibits In Vitro SARS-CoV-2 Infection In Vero
E6 Cells through Multiple Antiviral Mechanisms
Damariz Marín-Palma 1,2,† , Jorge H. Tabares-Guevara 1,† , María I. Zapata-Cardona 2 , Lizdany Flórez-Álvarez 2 ,
Lina M. Yepes 2 , Maria T. Rugeles 2 , Wildeman Zapata-Builes 1,2 , Juan C. Hernandez 1,2
and Natalia A. Taborda 1,3, *
Citation: Marín-Palma, D.;
Zapata-Cardona, M.I.; Flórez-Álvarez,
L.; Yepes, L.M.; Rugeles, M.T.;
Zapata-Builes, W.; Hernandez, J.C.;
Taborda, N.A. Curcumin Inhibits In
Vitro SARS-CoV-2 Infection In Vero
E6 Cells through Multiple Antiviral
Mechanisms. Molecules 2021, 26, 6900.
Academic Editor: Erika Ferrari
Received: 14 October 2021
Accepted: 11 November 2021
Published: 16 November 2021
Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral
Grupo Infettare, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia, 050012 Medellín, Colombia;
email@example.com (D.M.-P.); firstname.lastname@example.org (J.H.T.-G.);
email@example.com (W.Z.-B.); firstname.lastname@example.org (J.C.H.)
Grupo Inmunovirología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Antioquia, UdeA, 050010 Medellín,
Colombia; email@example.com (M.I.Z.-C.); firstname.lastname@example.org (L.F.-Á.);
email@example.com (L.M.Y.); firstname.lastname@example.org (M.T.R.)
Grupo de Investigaciones Biomédicas Uniremington, Programa de Medicina,
Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Corporación Universitaria Remington, 050016 Medellín, Colombia
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Abstract: Due to the scarcity of therapeutic approaches for COVID-19, we investigated the antiviral
and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin against SARS-CoV-2 using in vitro models. The
cytotoxicity of curcumin was evaluated using MTT assay in Vero E6 cells. The antiviral activity
of this compound against SARS-CoV-2 was evaluated using four treatment strategies (i. pre–post
infection treatment, ii. co-treatment, iii. pre-infection, and iv. post-infection). The D614G strain and
Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 were used, and the viral titer was quantified by plaque assay. The
anti-inflammatory effect was evaluated in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) using qPCR
and ELISA. By pre–post infection treatment, Curcumin (10 µg/mL) exhibited antiviral effect of 99%
and 99.8% against DG614 strain and Delta variant, respectively. Curcumin also inhibited D614G
strain by pre-infection and post-infection treatment. In addition, curcumin showed a virucidal effect
against D614G strain and Delta variant. Finally, the pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, and
IL-8) released by PBMCs triggered by SARS-CoV-2 were decreased after treatment with curcumin.
Our results suggest that curcumin affects the SARS-CoV-2 replicative cycle and exhibits virucidal
effect with a variant/strain independent antiviral effect and immune-modulatory properties. This
is the first study that showed a combined (antiviral/anti-inflammatory) effect of curcumin during
SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, additional studies are required to define its use as a treatment for
Keywords: curcumin; antiviral; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; immune response; inflammation; D614G strain;
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