Table of Contents
Hepatitis Research and Treatment
Volume 2013, Article ID 125398, 6 pages
Research Article

HD-03/ES: A Herbal Medicine Inhibits Hepatitis B Surface Antigen Secretion in Transfected Human Hepatocarcinoma PLC/PRF/5 Cells

Research and Development, The Himalaya Drug Company, Bangalore 562 123, India

Received 31 January 2013; Revised 5 March 2013; Accepted 19 March 2013

Academic Editor: Yoichi Hiasa

Copyright © 2013 Sandeep R. Varma 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.


HD-03/ES is a herbal formulation used for the treatment of hepatitis B. However, the molecular mechanism involved in the antihepatitis B (HBV) activity of this drug has not been studied using in vitro models. The effect of HD-03/ES on hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) secretion and its gene expression was studied in transfected human hepatocarcinoma PLC/PRF/5 cells. The anti-HBV activity was tested based on the inhibition of HBsAg secretion into the culture media, as detected by HBsAg-specific antibody-mediated enzyme assay (ELISA) at concentrations ranging from 125 to 1000 μg/mL. The effect of HD-03/ES on HBsAg gene expression was analyzed using semiquantitative multiplex RT-PCR by employing specific primers. The results showed that HD-03/ES suppressed HBsAg production with an IC50 of 380 μg/mL in PLC/PRF/5 cells for a period of 24 h. HD-03/ES downregulated HBsAg gene expression in PLC/PRF/5 cells. In conclusion, HD-03/ES exhibits strong anti-HBV properties by inhibiting the secretion of hepatitis B surface antigen in PLC/PRF/5 cells, and this action is targeted at the transcription level. Thus, HD-03/ES could be beneficial in the treatment of acute and chronic hepatitis B infections.