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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 1 (2004), Issue 3, Pages 285-289
Original Article

In Vitro Anti-Cytomegalovirus Activity of Kampo (Japanese Herbal) Medicine

1Division of Persistent and Oncogenic Viruses, Center for Chronic Viral Disease, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Kagoshima University, Kagoshima 890-8520, Japan
2Department of Serology, Kanazawa Medical University, Uchinada, Ichikawa 920-0293, Japan

Received 20 April 2004; Accepted 30 August 2004

Copyright © 2004 Tsugiya Murayama et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We examined the effect of three types of Kampo medicines on human cytomegalovirus (CMV) replication in the human embryonic fibroblast cell line, MRC-5. Treatment of cells with at least 0.01 μg/ml of Kampo medicines inhibited the cytopathic effects of CMV-infected MRC-5 cells. Moreover, Kampo medicine decreased the replication of CMV without affecting the inhibition of host cells, with a concomitant decrease in CMV DNA levels. However, Kampo medicine demonstrated no virocidal effect on cell-free CMV. Furthermore, western blotting analysis demonstrated that the Kampo medicine decreased the amount of 65 kDa late antigen expression in the infected cells. These results suggest that Kampo medicine may be sufficient to inhibit viral DNA replication and late protein synthesis, resulting in anti-CMV effects. Therefore, these three Kampo medicines have the potential of being a source of new powerful anti-CMV compounds.