Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) or herbs are widely used in the prevention and treatment
of viral infectious diseases. However, the underlying mechanisms of TCMs remain largely obscure
due to complicated material basis and multi-target therapeutics. TCMs have been reported to display
anti-influenza activity associated with immunoregulatory mechanisms by enhancing host antiinfluenza
immune responses. Previous studies have helped us understand the direct harm caused by the
virus itself. In this review, we have tried to summarize recent progress in TCM-based anti-influenza
research on the indirect harmful immune responses caused by influenza viruses. In particular, the phytochemicals
from TCMs responsible for molecular mechanisms of action belonging to different classes,
including phenolic compounds, flavonoids, alkaloids and polysaccharides, have been identified
and demonstrated. In addition, this review focuses on the pharmacological mechanism, e.g., inflammatory
responses and the interferon (IFN) signaling pathway, which can provide a theoretical basis
and approaches for TCM based anti-influenza treatment.
Keywords: Traditional Chinese medicine, anti-influenza, anti-inflammatory responses, pharmacological mechanism, phytochemical
profile, interferon, signaling pathway.
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