Symptoms and complications associated with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and organ damage have been linked to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein S1-induced increased production of pro inflammatory cytokines by immune cells. In this study, the effects of an extract of Garcinia kola seeds and garcinoic acid were investigated in SARS-CoV-2 spike protein S1-stimulated human PBMCs. Results of ELISA experiments revealed that Garcinia kola extract (6.25, 12.5 and 25 µg/mL) and garcinoic acid (1.25, 2.5 and 5 µM) significantly reduced SARS-CoV-2 spike protein S1-induced secretion of TNFα, IL-6, IL-1β and IL-8 in PBMCs. In-cell western assays showed that pre-treatment with Garcinia kola extract and garcinoic acid reduced expressions of both phospho-p65 and phospho-IκBα proteins, as well as NF-κB DNA binding capacity and NF-κB driven luciferase expression following stimulation of PBMCs with spike protein S1. Furthermore, pre treatment of PBMCs with Garcinia kola extract prior to stimulation with SARS-CoV-2 spike protein S1 resulted in reduced damage to adjacent A549 lung epithelial cells. These results suggest that the seed of Garcinia kola and garcinoic acid are natural products which may possess pharmacological/therapeutic benefits in reducing cytokine storm in severe SARS-CoV-2 and other coronavirus infections.
|Number of pages||11|
|Early online date||26 Oct 2021|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2021|