Network Pharmacology-Based Strategy for the Investigation of the Anti-Obesity Effects of an Ethanolic Extract of Zanthoxylum bungeanum Maxim

Ying Wang, Song Hong Yang, Keying Zhong, Ting Jiang, Mi Zhang, Hiu Yee KWAN, Tao Su*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Network pharmacology is considered as the next paradigm in drug discovery. In an era when obesity has become global epidemic, network pharmacology becomes an ideal tool to discover novel herbal-based therapeutics with effective anti-obesity effects. Zanthoxylum bungeanum Maxim (ZBM) is a medicinal herb. The mature pericarp of ZBM is used for disease treatments and as spice for cooking. Here, we used the network pharmacology approach to investigate whether ZBM possesses anti-obesity effects and reveal the underlying mechanism of action. We first built up drug–ingredient–gene symbol–disease network and protein–protein interaction network of the ZBM-related obesity targets, followed by Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway enrichment analyses. The results highlight apoptosis as a promising signaling pathway that mediates the anti-obesity effects of ZBM. Molecular docking also reveals quercetin, a compound in ZBM has the highest degree of connections in the compound-target network and has direct bindings with the apoptotic markers. Furthermore, the apoptotic effects of ZBM are further validated in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and in the high-fat diet–induced obesity mouse model. These findings not only suggest ZBM can be developed as potential anti-obesity therapeutics but also demonstrate the application of network pharmacology for the discovery of herbal-based therapeutics for disease treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number572387
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

User-Defined Keywords

  • apoptosis
  • high-fat diet
  • network pharmacology
  • obesity
  • Zanthoxylum bungeanum Maxim

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