Citrus clementine peels essential oil exhibited anti-SARS-CoV-2 and its modulatory effect against cytokine storm: Evidence from in vitro and in silico studies

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Pharmacology, National Research Centre

2 Pharmacology department, medical division, national research centre

3 National Research centre

4 Central Public Health Laboratory, Ministry of Health and Population, Cairo, Egypt

5 Department of Chemistry of Natural and microbial products, Pharmaceutical institute, National Research Centre, Dokki, Cairo, Egypt

6 Clinical Pathology Department, National Liver Institute, Menoufia University, Egypt


SARS CoV-2 gets over more than four million people all over the world. The challenges for developing vaccines in overwhelming pandemic situations of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), developing and screening of unique antiviral agents are peremptorily necessitated. In this study, we aimed to identify the chemical constituents of Citrus clementine peel essential oil (CCPEO) and to investigate its activities as anti-SARS-CoV-2 and anti-inflammatory activities. The chemical profile of CCPEO was identified via Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis (GC/MS). The in-vitro cell viability was determined using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and the 50% cytotoxic concentration (CC50) of CCPEO was determined. The antiviral effect of citrus clementine extract was determined by plaque reduction assay. A geometry-based molecular docking approach (Patchdock) was performed to create docking modifications that result in good molecular shape complementarity. The antiviral effect of CCPEO was attributed to the downregulation of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) released from Huh7cells, and thus attenuating the SARSCoV-2 infection-associated cytokine storm in severe cases.


Main Subjects

Volume 65, Issue 10
October 2022
Pages 419-427
  • Receive Date: 17 January 2022
  • Revise Date: 22 January 2022
  • Accept Date: 24 January 2022
  • First Publish Date: 24 January 2022