The jackfruit tree (Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.) is considered one of the most versatile trees and is used from wood production to traditional medicine. In traditional medicine, leaves are used to treat asthma, wounds and abscesses, and prevent ringworm infection. Several biological activities have been documented for jackfruit extracts confirming its popular use; however, its in vitro cytotoxicity and anti-herpesvirus activity are rarely discussed. The objective of this study was to explore the in vitro anti-herpesviral potential of A. heterophyllus leaf extracts at non-cytotoxic levels. Leaves were obtained from specimens located in the Atlantic forest biome. Dried and fresh ethanolic, methanolic and hexanic leaf extracts were obtained from the partition of a crude ethanolic extract. The cytotoxicity was performed on erythrocyte and kidney cell lines. The antiviral test was against equine, suid, and bovine herpesviruses. The contents of phenolic compounds were established from methanolic leaf extracts. Fresh leaf extracts did not show toxicity to erythrocytes in any concentration tested; however, dry leaf extracts showed >10% of hemolysis at ≥200 µg/ml. The maximum non-cytotoxic concentrations for Vero and MDBK cells ranged from 7.8 to 125 µg/ml. The content of phenolic compounds was 22.02% higher in fresh leaf than in dry leaf methanolic extracts. Methanolic extracts showed antiviral activity against BoHV-1 (PI of 99.20%) and SuHV-1 (PI of 94.38%). A. heterophyllus fresh and dry leaf extracts are remarkable as anti-herpesviruses and candidates to proceed for in vivo tests.
Key words: Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam., Jackfruit tree, antiviral activity, kidney cell-line, erythrocyte, medicinal plant.
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