Green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a strong antioxidant that has previously been shown to reduce the number of plaques in HIV-infected cultured cells. Modified EGCG, palmitoyl-EGCG (p-EGCG), is of interest as a topical antiviral agent for herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) infections. This study evaluated the effect of p-EGCG on HSV-infected Vero cells. Results of cell viability and cell proliferation assays indicate that p-EGCG is not toxic to cultured Vero cells and show that modification of the green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) with palmitate increases the effectiveness of EGCG as an antiviral agent. Furthermore, p-EGCG is a more potent inhibitor of herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) than EGCG and can be topically applied to skin, one of the primary tissues infected by HSV. Viral binding assay, plaque forming assay, PCR, real-time PCR, and fluorescence microscopy were used to demonstrate that p-EGCG concentrations of 50 μM and higher block the production of infectious HSV-1 particles. p-EGCG was found to inhibit HSV-1 adsorption to Vero cells. Thus, p-EGCG may provide a novel treatment for HSV-1 infections.
- Vero cells