DOI: 10.7717/peerj.15638 ISSN: 2167-8359

Chemical and spectroscopic characterization of (Artemisinin/Querctin/ Zinc) novel mixed ligand complex with assessment of its potent high antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 and antioxidant capacity against toxicity induced by acrylamide in male ra

Samy M. El-Megharbel, Safa H. Qahl, Bander Albogami, Reham Z. Hamza
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine
  • General Neuroscience

A novel Artemisinin/Quercetin/Zinc (Art/Q/Zn) mixed ligand complex was synthesized, tested for its antiviral activity against coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), and investigated for its effect against toxicity and oxidative stress induced by acrylamide (Acy), which develops upon cooking starchy foods at high temperatures. The synthesized complex was chemically characterized by performing elemental analysis, conductance measurements, FT-IR, UV, magnetic measurements, and XRD. The morphological surface of the complex Art/Q/Zn was investigated using scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM and TEM) and energy dispersive X-ray analysis (XRD). The in vitro antiviral activity of the complex Art/Q/Zn against SARS-CoV-2 and its in vivo activity against Acy-induced toxicity in hepatic and pulmonary tissues were analyzed. An experimental model was used to evaluate the beneficial effects of the novel Art/Q/Zn novel complex on lung and liver toxicities of Acy. Forty male rats were randomly divided into four groups: control, Acy (500 mg/Kg), Art/Q/Zn (30 mg/kg), and a combination of Acy and Art/Q/Zn. The complex was orally administered for 30 days. Hepatic function and inflammation marker (CRP), tumor necrosis factor, interleukin-6 (IL-6), antioxidant enzyme (CAT, SOD, and GPx), marker of oxidative stress (MDA), and blood pressure levels were investigated. Histological and ultrastructure alterations and caspase-3 variations (immunological marker) were also investigated. FT-IR spectra revealed that Zn (II) is able to chelate through C=O and C-OH (Ring II) which are the carbonyl oxygen atoms of the quercetin ligand and carbonyl oxygen atom C=O of the Art ligand, forming Art/Q/Zn complex with the chemical formula [Zn(Q)(Art)(Cl)(H2O)2]⋅3H2O. The novel complex exhibited a potent anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity even at a low concentration (IC50 = 10.14 µg/ml) and was not cytotoxic to the cellular host (CC50 = 208.5 µg/ml). Art/Q/Zn may inhibit the viral replication and binding to the angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) receptor and the main protease inhibitor (MPro), thereby inhibiting the activity of SARS-CoV-2 and this proved by the molecular dynamics simulation. It alleviated Acy hepatic and pulmonary toxicity by improving all biochemical markers. Therefore, it can be concluded that the novel formula Art/Q/Zn complex is an effective antioxidant agent against the oxidative stress series, and it has high inhibitory effect against SARS-CoV-2.

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