Comparing steamed and wine-stewed Rehmanniae Radix in terms of Yin-nourishing effects via metabolomics and microbiome analysis

Xiaoya Zhang, Jindi Xu, Yao Wang, Cheng Ying Wu, Jing Zhou, Hong Shen, Yeting Zou, Jinhao Zhu, Shan Shan Zhou, Songlin Li*, Jun Xu*, Fang Long*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Rehmanniae Radix Praeparata (RRP), the processed root of Rehmannia glutinosa, has been widely used to treat Yin deficiency syndrome in traditional Chinese medicine. RRP is available in two forms: processed by steaming with water (SRR) or processed by stewing with yellow rice wine (WRR). Previous work has documented chemical differences in the secondary metabolomes and glycomes of SRR and WRR.

Aim of the study: This study aimed to compare SRR and WRR in terms of Yin-nourishing effects via metabolomics and microbiome analysis.

Materials and methods: ICR mice were orally administered with thyroxine for 14 d to induce Yin deficiency. Changes in biochemical indices and histopathology were detected. Serum metabolomics analysis and microbial 16S rRNA sequencing were performed to compare the therapeutic effects and mechanisms between SRR and WRR in treating thyroxine-induced Yin deficiency.

Results: Both SRR and WRR decreased serum T3, T4 and MDA levels, and increased SOD activity. SRR more effectively decreased serum Cr, and ameliorated kidney injury, while WRR showed better regulation on ratio of cAMP/cGMP and serum TSH, and relieved thyroid injury. Both SRR and WRR regulated tyrosine, glycerophospholipid, and linoleic acid metabolism and the citric acid cycle. Additionally, SRR regulated fatty acid metabolism, while WRR influenced alanine, aspartate and glutamate metabolism, and bile acid biosynthesis. SRR significantly enriched the genera Staphylococcus and Bifidobacterium in the gut microbiome, while WRR significantly enriched the genera Akkermansia, Bacteroides and Parabacteroides, and decreased the abundance of Lactobacillus.

Conclusions: SRR displayed better protective effects on kidney, while WRR showed stronger effects on thyroid in thyroxine-induced Yin deficient mice. These differences might be due to different regulating effects of SRR and WRR on the metabolome and gut microbiota.
Original languageEnglish
Article number116424
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Early online date30 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Gut microbiota
  • Metabolomics
  • Rehmanniae radix
  • Steamed
  • Wine-stewed
  • Yin deficiency


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