Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome patients face great socio-economic difficulties in obtaining treatment. There is an urgent need for new, safe, and cheap anti-HIV agents. Traditional medicinal plants are a valuable source of novel anti-HIV agents and may offer alternatives to expensive medicines in future. Various medicinal plants or plant-derived natural products have shown strong anti-HIV activity and are under various stages of clinical development in different parts of the world. The present study was directed towards assessment of anti-HIV activity of various extracts prepared from Indian medicinal plants. The plants were chosen on the basis of similarity of chemical constituents with reported anti-HIV compounds or on the basis of their traditional usage as immunomodulators. Different extracts were prepared by Soxhlet extraction and liquid-liquid partitioning. Ninety-two extracts were prepared from 23 plants. Anti-HIV activity was measured in a human CD4+ T-cell line, CEM-GFP cells infected with HIV-1NL4.3. Nine extracts of 8 different plants significantly reduced viral production in CEM-GFP cells infected with HIV-1NL4.3. Aegle marmelos, Argemone mexicana, Asparagus racemosus, Coleus forskohlii, and Rubia cordifolia demonstrated promising anti-HIV potential and were investigated for their active principles.
- Medicinal plants
- Plant extracts
- Reverse transcriptase inhibitor