Research Highlight

Thorny tree extract shows anti-HIV-1 property

doi:10.1038/nindia.2013.138 Published online 23 October 2013

Researchers have found anti-HIV-1 properties in the stem bark extracts of the common thorny tree Acacia catechu. The finding holds promise for new formulations to treat HIV-1.

A. catechu is traditionally used as a dietary supplement and folk medicine for its anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, hepatoprotective, antioxidant, anti-microbial and anti-tumor activities.

The researchers evaluated the bark extracts for cytotoxicity and anti-HIV-1 activity using different in vitro assays. The active n-butanol fraction of these extracts was evaluated for various activities including its inhibition potential against HIV-1.

The researches found that the n-butanol fraction showed a dose-dependent inhibition against HIV-1 infection of the peripheral blood lymphocytes. It also showed a potent inhibitory activity against viral protease. The results confirmed the potential anti-HIV-1 activity of A. catechu mediated by the inhibition of the functions of the viral protein and Tat.


  1. Nutan et al. Extracts from Acacia catechu suppress HIV-1 replication by inhibiting the activities of the viral protease and Tat. Virol. J. (2013) doi: 10.1186/1743-422X-10-309