A systems-pharmacology analysis of herbal medicines used in health improvement treatment: Predicting potential new drugs and targets

Jianling Liu, Mengjie Pei, Chunli Zheng, Yan Li, Yonghua Wang*, Aiping LYU, Ling Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

For thousands of years, tonic herbs have been successfully used all around the world to improve health, energy, and vitality. However, their underlying mechanisms of action in molecular/systems levels are still a mystery. In this work, two sets of tonic herbs, so called Qi-enriching herbs (QEH) and Blood-tonifying herbs (BTH) in TCM, were selected to elucidate why they can restore proper balance and harmony inside body, organ and energy system. Firstly, a pattern recognition model based on artificial neural network and discriminant analysis for assessing the molecular difference between QEH and BTH was developed. It is indicated that QEH compounds have high lipophilicity while BTH compounds possess high chemical reactivity. Secondly, a systematic investigation integrating ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion) prediction, target fishing and network analysis was performed and validated on these herbs to obtain the compound-target associations for reconstructing the biologically-meaningful networks. The results suggest QEH enhance physical strength, immune system and normal well-being, acting as adjuvant therapy for chronic disorders while BTH stimulate hematopoiesis function in body. As an emerging approach, the systems pharmacology model might facilitate to understand the mechanisms of action of the tonic herbs, which brings about new development for complementary and alternative medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Article number938764
JournalEvidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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