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New anti-SARS-CoV-2 aminoadamantane compounds as antiviral candidates for the treatment of COVID-19.

Virus Research 2023 December 7
Here, the antiviral activity of aminoadamantane derivatives were evaluated against SARS-CoV-2. The compounds exhibited low cytotoxicity to Vero, HEK293 and CALU-3 cells up to a concentration of 1,000 µM. The inhibitory concentration (IC50 ) of aminoadamantane was 39.71 µM in Vero CCL-81 cells and the derivatives showed significantly lower IC50 values, especially for compounds 3F4 (0.32 µM), 3F5 (0.44 µM) and 3E10 (1.28 µM). Additionally, derivatives 3F5 and 3E10 statistically reduced the fluorescence intensity of SARS-CoV-2 protein S from Vero cells at 10 µM. Transmission microscopy confirmed the antiviral activity of the compounds, which reduced cytopathic effects induced by the virus, such as vacuolization, cytoplasmic projections, and the presence of myelin figures derived from cellular activation in the face of infection. Additionally, it was possible to observe a reduction of viral particles adhered to the cell membrane and inside several viral factories, especially after treatment with 3F4. Moreover, although docking analysis showed favorable interactions in the catalytic site of Cathepsin L, the enzymatic activity of this enzyme was not inhibited significantly in vitro. The new derivatives displayed lower predicted toxicities than aminoadamantane, which was observed for either rat or mouse models. Lastly, in vivo antiviral assays of aminoadamantane derivatives in BALB/cJ mice after challenge with the mouse-adapted strain of SARS-CoV-2, corroborated the robust antiviral activity of 3F4 derivative, which was higher than aminoadamantane and its other derivatives. Therefore, aminoadamantane derivatives show potential broad-spectrum antiviral activity, which may contribute to COVID-19 treatment in the face of emerging and re-emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.

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