Planta Med 1989; 55(6): 531-535
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-962087

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

The Antiviral Action of Lignans

W. D. MacRae1 , J. B. Hudson2 , G. H. N. Towers1
  • 1Department of Botany, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
  • 2Division of Medical Microbiology, University of British Columbia, C-Floor 2733 Heather St, Vancouver, B.C., Canada V5Z 1M9
Further Information

Publication History


Publication Date:
24 January 2007 (online)


A total of 18 purified lignans was evaluated for antiviral activity against murine cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Sindbis virus, by means of different treatment regimens. Podophyllotoxin and α-peltatin were the most potent compounds, and they apparently inhibited murine CMV at an essential early step in the replication cycle after the adsorption of virus to the cells. On the other hand, justicidin B and the diphyllin derivatives were much more effective against Sindbis virus, and 12 of the lignans had no demonstrable effect at all, despite their known activities in other bioassays.