The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been declared as a global pandemic, but specific medicines and vaccines are still being developed. In China, interventional therapies with traditional Chinese medicine for COVID-19 have achieved significant clinical efficacies, but the underlying pharmacological mechanisms are still unclear. This article reviewed the etiology of COVID-19 and clinical efficacy. Both network pharmacological study and literature search were used to demonstrate the possible action mechanisms of Chinese medicines in treating COVID-19.
We found that Chinese medicines played the role of antivirus, anti-inflammation and immunoregulation, and target organs protection in the management of COVID-19 by multiple components acting on multiple targets at multiple pathways. AEC2 and 3CL protein could be the direct targets for inhibiting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Quercetin, kaempferol, luteolin, isorhamnetin, baicalein, naringenin, and wogonin could be the main active ingredients of Chinese medicines for the management of COVID-19 by targeting on AEC2 and 3CL protein and inhibiting inflammatory mediators, regulating immunity, and eliminating free radicals through COX-2, CASP3, IL-6, MAPK1, MAPK14, MAPK8, and REAL in the signaling pathways of IL-17, arachidonic acid, HIF-1, NF-κB, Ras, and TNF.
This study may provide meaningful and useful information on further research to investigate the action mechanisms of Chinese medicines against SARS-CoV-2 and also provide a basis for sharing the “China scheme" for COVID-19 treatment.
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Shen Pi’an (Übers. A. Fatrai); 2020