Archives of Virology

, Volume 163, Issue 4, pp 987–995 | Cite as

Antiviral effect of lithium chloride on replication of avian leukosis virus subgroup J in cell culture

  • Kun Qian
  • Xiaowei Cheng
  • Danyang Zhang
  • Hongxia Shao
  • Yongxiu Yao
  • Venugopal Nair
  • Aijian Qin
Original Article


Lithium chloride (LiCl) has been reported to possess antiviral activity against several viruses. In the current study, we assessed the antiviral activity effect of LiCl on ALV-J infection in CEF cells by using real-time PCR, Western blot analysis, IFA and p27 ELISA analysis. Our results showed that both viral RNA copy number and protein level decreased significantly in a dose and time dependent manner. Time-course analysis revealed that the antiviral effect was more pronounced when CEFs were treated at the post infection stage rather than at early absorption or pre-absorption stages. Further experiments demonstrated that LiCl did not affect virus attachment or entry, but rather affected early virus replication. We also found that inhibition of viral replication after LiCl treatment was associated with reduced mRNA levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. These results demonstrate that LiCl effectively blocked ALV-J replication in CEF cells and may be used as an antiviral agent against ALV-J.



The research was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2017YFD0500702), the Key Program of NSFC-Henan Joint Fund (U1604232), NCFC-RCUK-BBSRC (Grant No. 31761133002), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31772734), the Newton Fund Project on “UK-China Centre of Excellence for Research on Avian Diseases”, Chinese Special Fund for Agro scientific Research in the Public Interest (201203055), the PAPD of the Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions and the Jiangsu Co-innovation Centre for the Prevention and Control of Important Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses.

Authors’ contributions

Kun Qian and Aijian Qin designed the study. Kun Qian, Xiaowei Cheng and Danyang Zhang carried out the experiments, analyzed the data, and drafted the manuscript. Aijian Qin supervised all the experiments and participated in the data analysis. Hongxia Shao, Yongxiu Yao and Venugopal Nair discussed and prepared the final report. All of the authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The experimental protocols for preparing primary chicken embryo fibroblasts were approved by the Animal Care and Protection Committee of Yangzhou University (reference number SYXX2012-0020).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kun Qian
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 5
  • Xiaowei Cheng
    • 1
  • Danyang Zhang
    • 1
  • Hongxia Shao
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yongxiu Yao
    • 4
    • 5
  • Venugopal Nair
    • 4
    • 5
  • Aijian Qin
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 5
  1. 1.Ministry of Education Key Lab for Avian Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary MedicineYangzhou UniversityYangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Jiangsu Co-innovation Center for Prevention and Control of Important Animal Infectious Diseases and ZoonosesYangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Jiangsu Key Lab of ZoonosisYangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Avian Oncogenic virus groupThe Pirbright InstitutePirbrightUK
  5. 5.The UK-China Centre of Excellence for Research on Avian DiseasesBinzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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