Identification of the Metabolites of Both Formononetin in Rat Hepatic S9 and Ononin in Rat Urine Samples and Preliminary Network Pharmacology Evaluation of Their Main Metabolites

Yu Zhu Yang, Tao Wang, Qi Lei Chen, Hu Biao Chen, Qian Song He*, Ya Zhou Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

Astragalus membranaceus is a traditional Chinese medicine derived from the roots of Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch.) Bge., which has the same medicinal and edible uses in China. It is also widely used in daily food, and its pharmacological effects mainly include antioxidant effects, vascular softening effects, etc. Currently, it is increasingly widely used in the prevention of hypertension, cerebral ischemia, and stroke in China. Formononetin and its glucopyranoside (ononin) are both important components of Astragalus membranaceuss and may play important roles in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). This study conducted metabolic studies using formononectin and its glucopyranoside (ononin), including a combination of the in vitro metabolism of Formonetin using rat liver S9 and the in vivo metabolism of ononin administered orally to rats. Five metabolites (Sm2, 7, 9, 10, and 12) were obtained from the solution incubated with formononetin and rat hepatic S9 fraction using chromatographic methods. The structures of the five metabolites were elucidated as (Sm2)6,7,4′-trihydroxy-isoflavonoid; (Sm7)7,4′-dihydroxy-isoflavonoid; (Sm9)7,8,4′-trihydroxy-isoflavonoid; (Sm10)7,8,-dihydroxy-4′-methoxy-isoflavonoid; and (Sm12)6,7-dihydroxy-4′-methoxy- isoflavonoid on the basis of UV, NMR, and MS data. Totally, 14 metabolites were identified via HPLC-DAD-ESI-IT-TOF-MSn analysis, from which the formononetin was incubated with rat hepatic S9 fraction, and the main metabolic pathways were hydroxylation, demethylation, and glycosylation. Then, 21 metabolites were identified via HPLC-DAD-ESI-IT-TOF-MSn analysis from the urine samples from SD rats to which ononin was orally administered, and the main metabolic pathways were glucuronidation, hydroxylation, demethylation, and sulfonation. The main difference between the in vitro metabolism of formononetin and the in vivo metabolism of ononin is that ononin undergoes deglycemic transformation into Formonetin in the rat intestine, while Formonetin is absorbed into the bloodstream for metabolism, and the metabolic products also produce combined metabolites during in vivo metabolism. The six metabolites obtained from the aforementioned separation indicate the primary forms of formononetin metabolism, and due to their higher contents of similar isoflavone metabolites, they are considered the main active compounds that are responsible for pharmacological effects. To investigate the metabolites of the active ingredients of formononetin in the rat liver S9 system, network pharmacology was used to evaluate the cardiovascular disease (CVD) activities of the six primary metabolites that were structurally identified. Additionally, the macromolecular docking results of six main components and two core targets (HSP90AA1 and SRC) related to CVD showed that formononetin and its main metabolites, Sm10 and Sm12, may have roles in CVD treatment due to their strong binding activities with the HSP90AA1 receptor, while the Sm7 metabolite may have a role in CVD treatment due to its strong binding activity with the SRC receptor.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7451
Number of pages19
JournalMolecules
Volume28
Issue number21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • hepatic S9
  • HPLC-DAD-ESI-IT-TOF-MS
  • network pharmacology

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