Network Pharmacology–Based Analysis and Experimental Exploration of Antidiabetic Mechanisms of Gegen Qinlian Decoction

Yu Xu, Jihan Huang, Ning Wang, Hor Yue Tan, Cheng Zhang, Sha Li, Guoyi Tang, Yibin Feng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and therapy options have been studied increasingly due to their rising incidence and prevalence. The trend of applying traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to treat T2DM is increasing as a crucial medical care for metabolic dysfunctions. Gegen Qinlian decoction (GQL), a well-known classical TCM formula used in China, has been clinically applied to treat various types of chronic metabolic diseases. However, antidiabetic effects of GQL administration during T2DM have never been studied systematically. We assessed physiological and molecular targets associated with therapeutic effects of GQL by evaluating network topological characteristics. The GQL-related biological pathways are closely associated with antidiabetic effects, including the TNF and PI3K–AKT signaling pathways. Associated primary biological processes such as RNA polymerase II promoter transcription participate in the inflammatory response, oxidative stress reduction, and glucose metabolic process, thereby exerting multiple biological effects on the antidiabetic mechanism. Furthermore, our results showed that GQL can affect blood glycemic levels and ameliorate inflammatory symptoms, and liver and pancreas tissue injury in high-fat diet plus streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. In vivo and in vitro experiments confirmed that antidiabetic effects of GQL were associated with a modulation of the TNF and PI3K–AKT–MTOR pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Article number649606
Number of pages15
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2021

User-Defined Keywords

  • type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • network analysis
  • herbal medicine
  • Gegen Qinlian decoction
  • multi-pathways


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