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Pathway as a pharmacological target for herbal medicines: an investigation from reduning injection.

PloS one (2015-04-02)
Jianling Liu, Ke Sun, Chunli Zheng, Xuetong Chen, Wenjuan Zhang, Zhengzhong Wang, Piar Ali Shar, Wei Xiao, Yonghua Wang
ABSTRACT

As a rich natural resource for drug discovery, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) plays an important role in complementary and alternative medical systems. TCM shows a daunting complexity of compounds featuring multi-components and multi-targets to cure diseases, which thus always makes it extremely difficult to systematically explain the molecular mechanisms adequately using routine methods. In the present work, to reveal the systematic mechanism of herbal formulae, we developed a pathway-based strategy by combining the pathways integrating, target selection, reverse drug targeting and network analysis together, and then exemplified it by Reduning injection (RDN), a clinically widely used herbal medicine injection, in combating inflammation. The anti-inflammatory effects exerted by the major ingredients of RDN at signaling pathways level were systematically investigated. More importantly, our predicted results were also experimentally validated. Our strategy provides a deep understanding of the pharmacological functions of herbal formulae from molecular to systematic level, which may lead to more successful applications of systems pharmacology for drug discovery and development.

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