Anti-COVID-19, Anti-Inflammatory, and Anti-Osteoarthritis Activities of Sesamin from Sesamum indicum L.

Shu Ming Huang, Cheng Yang Hsieh, Jasmine U. Ting, Kathlia A. De Castro-Cruz, Ching Chiung Wang, Chia Jung Lee, Po Wei Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) outbreak, many people were infected, and the symptoms may persist for several weeks or months for recovering patients. This is also known as “long COVID” and includes symptoms such as fatigue, joint pain, muscle pain, et cetera. The COVID-19 virus may trigger hyper-inflammation associated with cytokine levels in the body. COVID-19 can trigger inflammation in the joints, which can lead to osteoarthritis (OA), while long-term COVID-19 symptoms may lead to joint damage and other inflammation problems. According to several studies, sesame has potent anti-inflammatory properties due to its major constituent, sesamin. This study examined sesamin’s anti-inflammatory, anti-osteoarthritis, and anti-COVID-19 effects. Moreover, in vivo and in vitro assays were used to determine sesamin’s anti-inflammatory activity against the RAW264.7 and SW1353 cell lines. Sesamin had a dose-dependent effect (20 mg/kg) in a monoiodoacetic acid (MIA)-induced osteoarthritis rat model. Sesamin reduced paw swelling and joint discomfort. In addition, the findings indicated that sesamin suppressed the expression of iNOS (inducible nitric oxide synthase) and COX-2 (cyclooxygenase-2) in the RAW264.7 cell line within the concentration range of 6.25–50 μM. Furthermore, sesamin also had a suppressive effect on MMP (matrix metalloproteinase) expression in chondrocytes and the SW1353 cell line within the same concentration range of 6.25–50 μM. To examine the anti-viral activity, an in silico analysis was performed to evaluate sesamin’s binding affinity with SARS-CoV-2 RdRp (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase) and human ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2). Compared to the controls, sesamin exhibited strong binding affinities towards SARS-CoV-2 RdRp and human ACE2. Furthermore, sesamin had a higher binding affinity for the ACE2 target protein. This study suggests that sesamin shows potential anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity for drug development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1263
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • anti-COVID-19
  • anti-inflammatory
  • anti-osteoarthritis
  • human ACE2
  • molecular docking
  • SARS-CoV-2 RdRp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering


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