Publications by authors named "Shi-Jun Yue"

40 Publications

Potential medicinal value of celastrol and its synthesized analogues for central nervous system diseases.

Biomed Pharmacother 2021 Apr 14;139:111551. Epub 2021 Apr 14.

Key Laboratory of Shaanxi Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine for TCM Compatibility, and State Key Laboratory of Research & Development of Characteristic Qin Medicine Resources (Cultivation), and Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Chinese Medicine Fundamentals and New Drugs Research, and Shaanxi Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization, Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine, Xi'an 712046, Shaanxi Province, China. Electronic address:

The central nervous system (CNS) is a vital part of the human nervous system, and the incidence of CNS disease is increasing year by year, which has become a major public health problem and a prominent social problem. At present, the drugs most commonly used in the clinic are receptor regulators, and neurotransmitter inhibitors, but they are accompanied by serious side effects. Therefore, the identification of new drugs and treatment strategies for CNS disease has been a research hotspot in the medical field. Celastrol, a highly bio-active pentacyclic triterpenoid isolated from Tripterygium wilfordii Hook. F, has been proved to have a wide range of pharmacological effects, such as anti-inflammation, immunosuppression, anti-obesity and anti-tumor activity. However, due to its poor water solubility, low bioavailability and toxicity, the clinical development and trials of celastrol have been postponed. However, in recent years, the extensive medical value of celastrol in the treatment of CNS diseases such as nervous system tumors, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, cerebral ischemia, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis has gradually attracted intensive attention worldwide. In particular, celastrol has non-negligible anti-tumor efficacy, and as there are no 100% effective anti-tumor drugs, the study of its structural modification to obtain better leading compounds with higher efficiency and lower toxicity has aroused strong interest in pharmaceutical chemists. In this review, research progress on celastrol in CNS diseases and the synthesis of celastrol-type triterpenoid analogues and their application evaluation in disease models, such as CNS diseases and autotoxicity-related target organ cancers in the past decade are summarized in detail, in order to provide reference for future better application in the treatment of CNS diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2021.111551DOI Listing
April 2021

[Research progress on processing history evolution as well as effect on chemical compositions and traditional pharmacological effects of Rhei Radix et Rhizoma].

Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi 2021 Feb;46(3):539-551

Key Laboratory of Shaanxi Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine for TCM Compatibility, Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine Xianyang 712046, China.

Rhei Radix et Rhizoma(RRR) is a commonly used traditional Chinese medicine, with extensive pharmacological effects and clinical applications. This paper summarized processing history evolution of RRR and its effect on chemical compositions and pharmacological effects, and provided feasible insights for further studies on the chemical compositions and pharmacological effects of RRR before and after processing. Relevant information demonstrated that RRR has a long history of processing and various methods. At pre-sent, Chinese Pharmacopoeia mainly records four processing methods: cleaning(raw RRR), wine processing(RRR stir-fried with wine), steaming processing(RRR wine steaming), fried charcoal(RRR charring). RRR has a good effect in clearing heat effect, hemostatic effect and blood promoting effect, and its main chemical components are anthraquinone/anthrones, stilbene, phenylbutanone, chromogens, flavonoids and tannin compounds. This paper reviewed the history evolution of RRR and its effect on chemical composition and pharmacological changes, and put forward further study ideas, with the aim to provide a basic reference for processing mechanism, effective material basis and clinical application of RRR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.19540/j.cnki.cjcmm.20201105.601DOI Listing
February 2021

Quantitative evaluation of Danqi tablet by ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with triple quadrupole mass spectrometry integrated with bioassay.

J Sep Sci 2021 Apr 2;44(7):1552-1563. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Key Laboratory of Shaanxi Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine for TCM Compatibility, and State Key Laboratory of Research & Development of Characteristic Qin Medicine Resources (Cultivation), and Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Chinese Medicine Fundamentals and New Drugs Research, and Shaanxi Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization, Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine, Xi'an, P. R. China.

Danqi tablet composed of the dried roots of Salvia miltiorrhiza and Panax notoginseng is a well-known Chinese patent medicine commonly used for the treatment of cardio-cerebrovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease and myocardial ischemia. Numerous chemical constituents belonging to S. miltiorrhiza and P. notoginseng were detectable in Danqi tablet. Here, we established and validated a rapid and sensitive ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with triple quadrupole mass spectrometry method for simultaneous quantification of 23 components in Danqi tablet and then successfully applied to assay 12 batches of samples from ten manufacturers. Our results demonstrated that the contents of 23 components in 12 batches of Danqi tablets varied significantly and their quality indeed existed differently based on the principal component analysis. According to the quantitative data and the loading plot of principal component analysis, five abundant compounds in Danqi tablet were selected as characteristic chemical markers possibly responsible for the quality assessment. Among them, salvianolic acid B and ginsenoside Rg were further chosen to be combined at 2:5 ratio to evaluate the anti-thrombotic activity on phenylhydrazine-induced zebrafish heart thrombosis model. Expectedly, this component combination increased the heart red blood cells intensity compared with the model group and the median effective concentration was 123.4 µg/mL, suggestive of its well anti-thrombotic effect. This study contributed to the quantitative evaluation of Danqi tablet and indicated the combination of salvianolic acid B and ginsenoside Rg may be capable of reflecting the effect of Danqi tablet, thereby providing a reference for further investigations on the improvement of quality control and clinical application of Danqi tablet.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jssc.202000932DOI Listing
April 2021

Leonurine, a potential drug for the treatment of cardiovascular system and central nervous system diseases.

Brain Behav 2021 Feb 10;11(2):e01995. Epub 2020 Dec 10.

Key Laboratory of Shaanxi Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine for TCM Compatibility, State Key Laboratory of Research & Development of Characteristic Qin Medicine Resources (Cultivation), Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Chinese Medicine Fundamentals and New Drugs Research, Shaanxi Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization, Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine, Xi'an, China.

Leonurus japonicus Houtt., a traditional Chinese herbal medicine, is often used as a gynecological medicine with the effect of promoting blood circulation, regulating menstruation, clearing heat, and detoxificating. As the most important alkaloid in L. japonicus, leonurine has a wide range of biological activities, such as antioxidation, anti-inflammation, and anti-apoptosis. Cardiovascular system and central nervous system diseases are arrogant killers that threaten human lives and health around the world, but many drugs for treating them have certain side effects. This paper reviews the potential therapeutic effects of leonurine on cardiovascular system and central nervous system diseases, summarizes the previous research progress, and focuses on its therapeutic effect in various diseases. Although leonurine plays a prominent role in the treatment of cardiovascular system and central nervous system diseases, there are still some shortages, such as low bioavailability, weak transmembrane ability, and poor fat solubility. Therefore, the structure modification of leonurine may solve these problems and provide reference value for the development of new drugs. At present, leonurine is in clinical trial, and it is hoped that our summary will help to provide guidance for its future research on the basic science and clinical application.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/brb3.1995DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7882174PMC
February 2021

Drug repurposing for COVID-19: could vitamin C combined with glycyrrhizic acid be at play by the findings of Li et al.'s database-based network pharmacology analysis?

Brief Bioinform 2021 03;22(2):1508-1510

Key Laboratory of Shaanxi Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine for TCM Compatibility, Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine, Xi'an, P.R. China.

The outbreak and pandemic of SARS-CoV-2 in 2019 has caused a severe public health burden and will challenge global health for the future. The discovery and mechanistic investigation of drugs against Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is in deadly demand. The paper published by Li and colleagues proposed the hypothesis that vitamin C combined with glycyrrhizic acid in treating COVID-19 and its mechanistic investigation was performed by a database-based network pharmacology. In this letter, we present critical comments on the limitations and insufficiencies involved, from both the perspective of network pharmacology and current evidence on COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bib/bbaa330DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7799235PMC
March 2021

Therapeutic Potential of Hydroxysafflor Yellow A on Cardio-Cerebrovascular Diseases.

Front Pharmacol 2020 29;11:01265. Epub 2020 Sep 29.

Key Laboratory of Shaanxi Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine for TCM Compatibility, and State Key Laboratory of Research & Development of Characteristic Qin Medicine Resources (Cultivation), and Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Chinese Medicine Fundamentals and New Drugs Research, and Shaanxi Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization, Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine, Xi'an, China.

The incidence rate of cardio-cerebrovascular diseases (CCVDs) is increasing worldwide, causing an increasingly serious public health burden. The pursuit of new promising treatment options is thus becoming a pressing issue. Hydroxysafflor yellow A (HSYA) is one of the main active quinochalcone -glycosides in the florets of L., a medical and edible dual-purpose plant. HSYA has attracted much interest for its pharmacological actions in treating and/or managing CCVDs, such as myocardial and cerebral ischemia, hypertension, atherosclerosis, vascular dementia, and traumatic brain injury, in massive preclinical studies. In this review, we briefly summarized the mode and mechanism of action of HSYA on CCVDs based on these preclinical studies. The therapeutic effects of HSYA against CCVDs were presumed to reside mostly in its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective roles by acting on complex signaling pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.01265DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7550755PMC
September 2020

Comparatively Evaluating the Role of Herb Pairs Containing Angelicae Sinensis Radix in Xin-Sheng-Hua Granule by Withdrawal Analysis.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2020 22;2020:9456350. Epub 2020 Sep 22.

Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization, and National and Local Collaborative Engineering Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization and Formulae Innovative Medicine, and Jiangsu Key Laboratory for High Technology Research of TCM Formulae, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing 210023, Jiangsu Province, China.

The present study aims to investigate the roles of herb pairs containing Angelicae Sinensis Radix (Danggui) in Xin-Sheng-Hua Granule (XSHG) on hemolytic and aplastic anemia (HAA) mice. HAA model mice were induced by acetyl phenylhydrazine and cyclophosphamide; then the samples of XSHG and its decomposed recipes (DY, DC, DT, DH, DJ, and DZ) were orally administrated to these mice. Indicators of peripheral blood routine, organ index, and ATPase activities were tested. Moreover, the main effective components in these samples were also analyzed by UHPLC-TQ-MS/MS. Clear separation between the control and model groups from score plot of principal component analysis (PCA) was easily seen, indicating that HAA model was successfully conducted. Afterwards, relative distance calculation method between dose groups and control group from PCA score plot was adopted to evaluate the integrated effects of hematinic function of different samples. And the orders of hematinic effects were as follows: XHSG > DJ > DT > DZ > DH > DC > DY. Further analysis of these samples by UHPLC-TQ-MS/MS revealed that XSHG underwent complicated changes when herb pairs containing Danggui were excluded from XSHG, respectively. Compared with XSHG, the vast majority of active compounds in sample DY (formula minus herb pair Danggui-Yimucao) decreased significantly, which could partly explain why herb pair Danggui-Yimucao made great contribution to XSHG. These findings showed that withdrawal analysis method is a valuable tool to analyze the impacts of herb pairs containing Danggui on XSHG, which could lay foundation to reveal the compatibility rules of this formula.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2020/9456350DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7528019PMC
September 2020

Integration of organ metabolomics and proteomics in exploring the blood enriching mechanism of Danggui Buxue Decoction in hemorrhagic anemia rats.

J Ethnopharmacol 2020 Oct 12;261:113000. Epub 2020 Jul 12.

Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization, Jiangsu Key Laboratory for High Technology Research of TCM Formulae, National and Local Collaborative Engineering Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization and Formulae Innovative Medicine, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, 210023, Jiangsu Province, China.

Ethnopharmacological Relevance: Danggui Buxue Decoction (DBD), as a classical Chinese medicine prescription, is composed of Danggui (DG) and Huangqi (HQ) at a ratio of 1:5, and it has been used clinically in treating anemia for hundreds of years.

Aim Of The Study: The aim of this study was to explore the treatment mechanisms of DBD in anemia rats from the perspective of thymus and spleen.

Materials And Methods: In this study, a successful hemorrhagic anemia model was established, and metabolomics (UPLC-QTOF-MS/MS) and proteomics (label-free approach) together with bioinformatics (Gene Ontology analysis and Reactome pathway enrichment), correlation analysis (pearson correlation matrix) and joint pathway analysis (MetaboAnalyst) were employed to discover the underlying mechanisms of DBD.

Results: DBD had a significant blood enrichment effect on hemorrhagic anemia rats. Metabolomics and proteomics results showed that DBD regulated a total of 10 metabolites (lysophosphatidylcholines, etc.) and 41 proteins (myeloperoxidase, etc.) in thymus, and 9 metabolites (L-methionine, etc.) and 24 proteins (transferrin, etc.) in spleen. With GO analysis and Reactome pathway enrichment, DBD mainly improved anti-oxidative stress ability of thymocyte and accelerated oxidative phosphorylation to provide ATP for splenocyte. Phenotype key indexes were strongly and positively associated with most of the differential proteins and metabolites, especially nucleosides, amino acids, Fabp4, Decr1 and Ndufs3. 14 pathways in thymus and 9 pathways in spleen were obtained through joint pathway analysis, in addition, the most influential pathway in thymus was arachidonic acid metabolism, while in spleen was the biosynthesis of phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan. Furthermore, DBD was validated to up-regulate Mpo, Hbb and Cp levels and down-regulate Ca level in thymus, as well as up-regulate Fabp4, Ndufs3, Tf, Decr1 and ATP levels in spleen.

Conclusion: DBD might enhance thymus function mainly by reducing excessive lipid metabolism and intracellular Ca level, and promote ATP production in spleen to provide energy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2020.113000DOI Listing
October 2020

The database-based strategy may overstate the potential effects of traditional Chinese medicine against COVID-19.

Pharmacol Res 2020 09 23;159:105046. Epub 2020 Jun 23.

Key Laboratory of Shaanxi Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine for TCM Compatibility, and State Key Laboratory of Research & Development of Characteristic Qin Medicine Resources (Cultivation), and Shaanxi Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization, Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine, Xi'an, 712046, China. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2020.105046DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7309793PMC
September 2020

Analysis and evaluation of nucleosides, nucleobases, and amino acids in safflower from different regions based on ultra high performance liquid chromatography coupled with triple-quadrupole linear ion-trap tandem mass spectrometry.

J Sep Sci 2020 Aug 20;43(16):3170-3182. Epub 2020 Jul 20.

Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization, and Jiangsu Key Laboratory for High Technology Research of TCM Formulae, and National and Local Collaborative Engineering Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization and Formulae Innovative Medicine, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, P. R. China.

Safflower has both medicinal and edible values but research on its nutrient composition is still lacking. This study was established for the quantitative determination of 28 nucleosides, nucleobases, and amino acids based on the ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with triple-quadrupole linear ion-trap tandem mass spectrometry. Analysis of 30 batches of safflower from different producing areas indicated that the contents of l-proline, l-asparagine, l(+)-arginine, l-serine, l-histidine, uracil, guanosine, and uridine was high in safflower. Principle component analysis and cluster analysis found that samples from different regions could be distinguished well, and samples from the same area could be clustered into one class, different geographical environments may cause the differences of nucleosides, nucleobases, and amino acids in safflower. The analysis of principal component analysis, cluster analysis, and counter propagation artificial neural network show similar results. Then the content of nucleosides, nucleobases, and essential amino acids were compared, and found that the content in safflower from Gansu was higher than those from other regions, and there was a little difference between the samples from Xinjiang, Sichuan, and Yunnan. This research revealed the composition of nucleosides, nucleobases, and amino acids in safflower, and provided a theoretical basis for utilization of safflower.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jssc.202000180DOI Listing
August 2020

An integrated strategy for discovering effective components of Shaoyao Gancao decoction for treating neuropathic pain by the combination of partial least-squares regression and multi-index comprehensive method.

J Ethnopharmacol 2020 Oct 2;260:113050. Epub 2020 Jun 2.

Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization, Jiangsu Key Laboratory for High Technology Research of TCM Formulae, National and Local Collaborative Engineering Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization and Formulae Innovative Medicine, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, 210023, Jiangsu Province, China.

Ethnopharmacological Relevance: Neuropathic pain, the incidence of which ranges from 5 to 8% in the general population, remains challenge in the treatment. Shaoyao Gancao decoction (SGD) is a Chinese classical formula used to relieve pain for thousands of years and has been applied for neuropathic pain nowadays. However, the effective components of SGD for the treatment of neuropathic pain remains unclear.

Aims Of Study: To investigate the effect and potential mechanism of SGD against neuropathic pain and further reveal the effective components of SGD in the treatment of neuropathic pain.

Materials And Methods: Spared nerve injury (SNI) model rats of neuropathic pain were orally given SGD to intervene, the components in vivo after SGD administration were determined, behavior indicators, biochemical parameters, and metabolomics were applied for assessing the efficacy. Then correlation between components and biomarkers was analyzed by pearson correlation method. To further measure the contribution of components to efficacy, the combination of partial least-squares regression (PLSR) and multi-index comprehensive method was carried out, according to the corresponding contribution degree of the results, the components with large contribution degree were considered as the effective components.

Results: SGD exhibited a significant regulatory effect on neuropathic pain, which could increase the pain threshold and decrease the levels of SP, β-EP, PGE2 and NO. With the high resolution of UPLC-Q-TOF/MS technology, a total of 128 compounds from SGD were identified and 44 of them were absorbed in blood. Besides, 40 serum biomarkers were identified after intervention of SGD and the metabolic pathways were constructed. The key metabolic pathways including Glycerophospholipid metabolism, Linoleic acid metabolism, Alpha-linolenic acid metabolism, Glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchor biosynthesis and Arachidonic acid metabolism may be related to the regulation of neuropathic pain. Metabolomics combined with PLSR and multi-index comprehensive method was utilized to discover 5 components including paeonol, DL-Arabinose, benzoic acid, hispaglabridin A and paeonilactone C as effective components of SGD in the treatment of neuropathic pain. This strategy was used to explore the effective components of SGD and elucidate its possible analgesic mechanism.

Conclusion: This study demonstrate that SGD significantly relieved neuropathic pain and elucidated the effective components of SGD for treating neuropathic pain, the strategy as an illustrative case study can be applied to other classical formula and is beneficial to improve the quality and efficacy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2020.113050DOI Listing
October 2020

Hepatoprotective effects of total phenylethanoid glycosides from Acanthus ilicifolius L. against carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity.

J Ethnopharmacol 2020 Jun 26;256:112795. Epub 2020 Mar 26.

Key Laboratory of Marine Drugs, The Ministry of Education of China, School of Medicine and Pharmacy, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, 266003, China; Laboratory for Marine Drugs and Bioproducts of Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao, 266237, China. Electronic address:

Ethnopharmacological Relevance: Acanthus ilicifolius L. has been used as a folk medicine in the treatment of acute and chronic hepatitis in China for a long time. Phenylethanoid glycosides are one of main components in A. ilicifolius L.

Aim Of The Study: The aim of present study was to assess the hepatoprotective activities of total phenylethanoid glycosides from A. ilicifolius L. (APhGs) against carbon tetrachloride (CCl)-induced liver injury in vivo and in vitro.

Materials And Method: The APhGs was separated by resin column chromatography. The purity of total phenylethanoid glycosides was determined by UV-Vis spectrophotometry using acteoside as a standard. The hepatoprotective activities of APhGs against CCl-induced liver injury were performed on experimental mice and L-02 hepatocytes. Moreover, the antioxidant activities of APhGs were tested in vitro.

Results: The results showed that pre-administration of APhGs to mice decreased alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels in serum, and improved superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and decreased malondialdehyde (MDA) level in serum and liver tissue induced by CCl. Specifically, the SOD activities of APhGs-H and APhGs-M treatment groups were stronger than that of silymarin treatment group. The protective activities of APhGs were confirmed by histopathological results. Moreover, immunohistochemical analysis showed that APhGs could remarkably down-regulate the protein expression of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β). In vitro experiment, APhGs was observed to increase L-02 hepatocyte viability against CCl-induced hepatotoxicity. In addition, antioxidation assays revealed that APhGs showed 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity, and ferric reducing ability.

Conclusion: Overall, total phenylethanoid glycosides from A. ilicifolius L. displayed promising hepatoprotective effects. These results offer a support for the medicine uses of A. ilicifolius L.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2020.112795DOI Listing
June 2020

Deciphering the Active Compounds and Mechanisms of Qixuehe Capsule on Qi Stagnation and Blood Stasis Syndrome: A Network Pharmacology Study.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2020 27;2020:5053914. Epub 2020 Feb 27.

Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization, Jiangsu Key Laboratory for High Technology Research of TCM Formulae, National and Local Collaborative Engineering Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization and Formulae Innovative Medicine, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing 210023, China.

Background: Qixuehe capsule (QXH), a Chinese patent medicine, has been demonstrated to be effective in the treatment of menstrual disorders. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) theory, qi stagnation and blood stasis syndrome (QS-BSS) is the main syndrome type of menstrual disorders. However, the pharmacodynamic effect of QXH in treating QS-BSS is not clear, and the main active compounds and underlying mechanisms remain unknown.

Methods: A rat model of QS-BSS was established to evaluate the pharmacodynamic effect of QXH. Thereafter, a network pharmacology approach was performed to decipher the active compounds and underlying mechanisms of QXH.

Results: QXH could significantly reduce the rising whole blood viscosity (WBV) and plasma viscosity (PV) but also normalize prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), thrombin time (TT), and fibrinogen (FIB) content in QS-BSS rats. Based on partial least-squares-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA), the low-dose QXH-intervened (QXH-L) and the high-dose QXH-intervened (QXH-H) groups seemed the most effective by calculating the relative distance to normality. Through network pharmacology, QXH may improve hemorheological abnormality mainly via 185 compounds-51 targets-28 pathways, whereas 184 compounds-68 targets-28 pathways were associated with QXH in improving coagulopathy. Subsequently, 25 active compounds of QXH were verified by UPLC-Q/TOF-MS. Furthermore, 174 active compounds of QXH were shared in improving hemorheological abnormality and coagulopathy in QS-BSS, each of which can act on multiple targets to be mainly involved in complement and coagulation cascades, leukocyte transendothelial migration, PPAR signaling pathway, VEGF signaling pathway, and arachidonic acid metabolism. The attribution of active compounds indicated that Angelicae Sinensis Radix (DG), Paeoniae Radix Rubra (CS), Carthami Flos (HH), Persicae Semen (TR), and Corydalis Rhizoma (YHS) were the vital herbs of QXH in treating QS-BSS.

Conclusion: QXH can improve the hemorheology abnormality and coagulopathy of QS-BSS, which may result from the synergy of multiple compounds, targets, and pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2020/5053914DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7063220PMC
February 2020

Elucidating the interaction of kansui and licorice by comparative plasma/tissue metabolomics and a heatmap with relative fold change.

J Pharm Anal 2019 Oct 1;9(5):312-323. Epub 2019 Jun 1.

Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization, National and Local Collaborative Engineering Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization and Formulae Innovative Medicine, and Jiangsu Key Laboratory for High Technology Research of TCM Formulae, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing 210023, Jiangsu Province, China.

Although compatibility is highly advocated in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), inappropriate combination of some herbs may reduce the therapeutic action and even produce toxic effects. Kansui and licorice, one of TCM "", are the most representative cases of improper herbal combination, which may still be applied simultaneously under given conditions. However, the potential mechanism of their compatibility and incompatibility is unclear. In the present study, two different ratios of kansui and licorice, representing their compatibility and incompatibility respectively, were designed to elucidate their interaction by comparative plasma/tissue metabolomics and a heatmap with relative fold change. As a result, glycocholic acid, prostaglandin F2a, dihydroceramide and sphinganine were screened out as the principal alternative biomarkers of compatibility group; sphinganine, dihydroceramide, arachidonic acid, leukotriene B4, acetoacetic acid and linoleic acid were those of incompatibility group. Based on the values of biomarkers in each tissue, the liver was identified as the compatible target organ, while the heart, liver, and kidney were the incompatible target organs. Furthermore, important pathways for compatibility and incompatibility were also constructed. These results help us to better understand and utilize the two herbs, and the study was the first to reveal some innate characters of herbs related to TCM "".
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpha.2019.05.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6951493PMC
October 2019

Comparative pharmacodynamic, pharmacokinetic and tissue distribution of Dahuang-Gancao decoction in normal and experimental constipation mice.

Chin J Nat Med 2019 Nov;17(11):871-880

Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization, and National and Local Collaborative Engineering Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization and Formulae Innovative Medicine, and Jiangsu Key Laboratory for High Technology Research of TCM Formulae, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing 210023, China.

Dahuang-Gancao decoction (DGD) is a classical formula, which is commonly used for reliving constipation in Chinese clinic. The aim of this study was to investigate the pharmacodynamic, pharmacokinetic and tissue distribution alternations of DGD in normal and constipation mice. DGD exhibited stronger purgative effect in constipation mice by the increased fecal excretion and reduced first defection time compared with normal mice. The C, AUC and MRT of rhein, aloe-emodin, rhein-8-O-β-D-glucoside, sennoside A, and glycyrrhizic acid as main bio-active components in DGD were markedly increased in constipation mice. The tissue distribution of the analytes in constipation mice were higher than those in normal mice with rhein > rhein-8-O-β-D-glucoside > aloe-emodin > glycyrrhizic acid > emodin in liver, and glycyrrhizic acid > rhein-8-O-β-D-glucoside > liquitin > sennoside A > rhein > aloe-emodin > emodin in colon. The kidney concentrations of the analytes showed a descending order of rhein > rhein-8-O-β-D-glucoside > sennoside A > glycyrrhizic acid > aloe-emodin > emodin, most of them were higher while rhein was lower in constipation mice than normal mice. The higher exposure of the anthraquinones in plasma, liver and colon may result in the stronger purgative effect in the constipation mice than normal mice. Rhein is mainly excreted through the kidney, the decreased level of rhein in constipation mice may explain the alleviated side effects. Accumulation of glycyrrhizic acid in colon may related with the moderate property of licorice. These results provided the experimental basis for understanding the therapeutic effects and metabolite profile of DGD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1875-5364(19)30104-9DOI Listing
November 2019

Pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of Danshen in isoproterenol-induced acute myocardial ischemic injury combined with Honghua.

J Ethnopharmacol 2020 Jan 8;247:112284. Epub 2019 Oct 8.

Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization, National and Local Collaborative Engineering Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization and Formulae Innovative Medicine, Jiangsu Key Laboratory for High Technology Research of TCM Formulae, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, 210023, China.

Ethnopharmacological Relevance: Herb pair, the most fundamental and simplest form of herb compatibility, serves as the basic building block of traditional Chinese medicine formulae. The Danshen-Honghua herb pair (DH), composed of Salviae Miltiorrhizae Radix et Rhizoma (Danshen in Chinese) and Carthami Flos (Honghua in Chinese), has remarkable clinical efficacy to cure cardio-cerebrovascular diseases. This study was designed to investigate the pharmacodynamics of DH in comparison with single herbs and pharmacokinetics of DH relative to Danshen in acute myocardial ischemic injury.

Materials And Methods: Sixty male Wistar rats were divided into control, model and drug treated groups. The acute myocardial ischemia rat model was induced by administering 85 mg/kg/d isoproterenol (ISO) subcutaneously for two consecutive days. For pharmacodynamic study, histopathological and biochemical analysis were performed to assess the anti-myocardial ischemic effects. While for pharmacokinetic study, a UPLC-MS/MS method was developed for determination of nine main active ingredients, namely danshensu, protocatechuic acid, protocatechualdehyde, caffeic acid, lithospermic acid, rosmarinic acid, salvianolic acid B, salvianolic acid A and salvianolic acid C in rat plasma.

Results: The histopathological and biochemical analysis revealed that DH exerted enhanced anti-myocardial ischemic effects against the ISO-induced myocardial ischemia compared with single herbs. The pharmacokinetic study indicated that DH could significantly increase the t of danshensu, T, AUC and MRT of protocatechuic acid in comparison with Danshen alone in normal rats, but more importantly elevate systemic exposure level and prolong t of protocatechualdehyde, caffeic acid, T of danshensu in acute myocardial ischemia rats.

Conclusions: Our findings demonstrated the greater effects of DH after the compatibility in ISO-induced acute myocardial ischemia rats at pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic levels and provided valuable information for clinical application of herb pairs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2019.112284DOI Listing
January 2020

[Research thoughts and methods on grading identification and transmission change law of traditional Chinese medicine(TCM) Q-marker].

Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi 2019 Jul;44(14):3116-3122

Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization,Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine Nanjing 210023,China.

The quality marker( Q-maker) of traditional Chinese medicine( TCM) has been the core concept of TCM quality evaluation and control in recent years. Based on the knowledge and long-term practice of the researches on TCM quality,we put forward that " Taking the effectiveness as the core,the measurability and peculiarity as necessary conditions,and considering compatibility for TCM formulae,TCM Q-makers are selected and confirmed,and then the transmission and traceability should be investigated as its functional attributes". Selecting the commonly used representative TCM as the research object,based on the score of TCM effectiveness,measurability and peculiarity,a layered three-dimensional integrated technology was adopted for the quantitative evaluation and grading identification of the Q-markers for TCM. And after Q-markers for TCM are selected and confirmed,the transmission variation of the Q-markers is studied in the whole process from the formation of TCM to its function representation. Based on TCM chemical and biological characteristics as well as effectiveness,and integrating multidisciplinary techniques and methods,researches on innovative methods for system identification and confirmation of the TCM Q-makers are developed emphatically to form representative and exemplary extensive application,which will provide significant theoretical and methodological support for effectively improving the quality control level of TCM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.19540/j.cnki.cjcmm.20190408.201DOI Listing
July 2019

Gut microbiota modulation with traditional Chinese medicine: A system biology-driven approach.

Pharmacol Res 2019 10 18;148:104453. Epub 2019 Sep 18.

Key Laboratory of Shaanxi Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine for TCM Compatibility, and State Key Laboratory of Research & Development of Characteristic Qin Medicine Resources (Cultivation), and Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Chinese Medicine Fundamentals and New Drugs Research, and Shaanxi Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization, Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine, Xi'an 712046, China; Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization, and Jiangsu Key Laboratory for High Technology Research of TCM Formulae, and National and Local Collaborative Engineering Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization and Formulae Innovative Medicine, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing 210023, China. Electronic address:

With the development of system biology, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is drawing more and more attention nowadays. However, there are still many enigmas behind this ancient medical system because of the arcane theory and complex mechanism of actions. In recent decades, advancements in genome sequencing technologies, bioinformatics and culturomics have led to the groundbreaking characterization of the gut microbiota, a 'forgotten organ', and its role in host health and disease. Notably, gut microbiota has been emerging as a new avenue to understanding TCM. In this review, we will focus on the structure, composition, functionality and metabolites of gut microbiota affected by TCM so as to conversely understand its theory and mechanisms. We will also discuss the potential areas of gut microbiota for exploring Chinese material medica waste, Chinese marine material medica, add-on therapy and personalized precise medication of TCM. The review will conclude with future perspectives and challenges of gut microbiota in TCM intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2019.104453DOI Listing
October 2019

Comparative analysis of the main active constituents from different parts of Leonurus japonicus Houtt. and from different regions in China by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography with triple quadrupole tandem mass spectrometry.

J Pharm Biomed Anal 2020 Jan 10;177:112873. Epub 2019 Sep 10.

Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization, and Jiangsu Key Laboratory for High Technology Research of TCM Formulae, and National and Local Collaborative Engineering Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization and Formulae Innovative Medicine, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, 210023, Jiangsu Province, China.

A rapid, sensitive and convenient analytical method of ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with triple-quadrupole linear ion-trap tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-QTRAP®/MS) was proposed for the simultaneous determination of characteristic alkaline and acidic components covering many structure types including alkaloids, phenolic acids, phenylpropanoids and flavonoids in Leonurus japonicus Houtt. (LJ). The proposed method was first reported and validated by assessing the matrix effects, linearity, limit of detections, limit of quantifications, precision, repeatability, stability and recovery of target components. The developed UPLC-QTRAP®/MS was successfully applied to simultaneously determine all target compounds in 38 batches of LJ from 11 different producing regions in China and five organs (including root, caulis, branch, flower and leaf) of LJ from the same stand planting base in Jiangsu Province (China). The result showed that LJ in different regions with different geographical position would affect the accumulation of different compounds, and the significant discrepancies of some target compounds were also observed in different organs of LJ due to different biosynthetic pathway and enzymes in different organs. Furthermore, both hierarchical clustering analysis and principal components analysis were performed to classify the 38 batches of LJ samples from different producing regions on the basis of target compounds. As a result, the samples could be mainly clustered into different groups, which were similar with areas classification. Overall, the presented method would be helpful for the comprehensive utilization and development of LJ resources.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpba.2019.112873DOI Listing
January 2020

The Comprehensive Evaluation of Safflowers in Different Producing Areas by Combined Analysis of Color, Chemical Compounds, and Biological Activity.

Molecules 2019 Sep 17;24(18). Epub 2019 Sep 17.

Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization, and Jiangsu Key Laboratory for High Technology Research of TCM Formulae, and National and Local Collaborative Engineering Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization and Formulae Innovative Medicine, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing 210023, China.

In the present study, a new strategy including the combination of external appearance, chemical detection, and biological analysis was proposed for the comprehensive evaluation of safflowers in different producing areas. Firstly, 40 batches of safflower samples were classified into class I and II based on color measurements and K-means clustering analysis. Secondly, a rapid and sensitive analytical method was developed for simultaneous quantification of 16 chromaticity-related characteristic components (including characteristic components hydroxysafflor yellow A, anhydrosafflor yellow B, safflomin C, and another 13 flavonoid glycosides) in safflowers by ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with triple-quadrupole linear ion-trap tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-QTRAP/MS). The results of the quantification indicate that hydroxysafflor yellow A, anhydrosafflor yellow B, kaempferol, quercetin, and safflomin C had significant differences between the two types of safflower, and class I of safflower had a higher content of hydroxysafflor yellow A, anhydrosafflor yellow B, and safflomin C as the main anti-thrombotic components in safflower. Thirdly, chemometrics methods were employed to illustrate the relationship in multivariate data of color measurements and chromaticity-related characteristic components. As a result, kaempferol-3--rutinoside and 6-hydroxykaempferol-3--β-d-glucoside were strongly associated with the color indicators. Finally, anti-thrombotic analysis was used to evaluate activity and verify the suitability of the classification basis of safflower based on the color measurements. It was shown that brighter, redder, yellower, more orange-yellow, and more vivid safflowers divided into class I had a higher content of characteristic components and better anti-thrombotic activity. In summary, the presented strategy has potential for quality evaluation of other flower medicinal materials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules24183381DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6767200PMC
September 2019

An integrated metabolomics strategy to reveal dose-effect relationship and therapeutic mechanisms of different efficacy of rhubarb in constipation rats.

J Pharm Biomed Anal 2020 Jan 26;177:112837. Epub 2019 Aug 26.

Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization, and National and Local Collaborative Engineering Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization and Formulae Innovative Medicine, and Jiangsu Key Laboratory for High Technology Research of TCM Formulae, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing 210023, Jiangsu Province, China. Electronic address:

The ambiguity of dose-effect relationship of many traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs) has always influenced their rational use in TCM clinic. Rhubarb, a preferred representative of cathartic TCM, is currently widely used that results in a diversity of its dosage. The aim of this study was to use an integrated metabolomics strategy to simultaneously reveal dose-effect relationship and therapeutic mechanisms of different efficacy of rhubarb in constipation rats. Six doses of rhubarb (0.135, 0.27, 0.81, 1.35, 4.05, and 8.1 g/kg) were examined to elucidate the laxative and fire-purging effects by pathological sections and UPLC-Q-TOF/MS. The results showed that there existed serious lesions in the stomach and colon of model rats. And conditions were basically improved to some extent in rhubarb-treated groups. Through relative distance calculation based on metabolomics score plots, it suggested that the effective dose threshold (EC-EC range) of rhubarb was from 0.31 to 4.5 g/kg (corresponding to 3.44-50.00 g in the clinic) in rat serum and 0.29-2.1 g/kg (corresponding to 3.22-23.33 g in the clinic) in feces. Then, 33 potential biomarkers were identified in total. Functional pathway analysis revealed that the alterations of these biomarkers were associated with 15 metabolic pathways, mainly including arachidonic acid metabolism, glycerophospholipid metabolism, steroid biosynthesis, primary bile acid biosynthesis and sphingolipid metabolism. Of note, different doses of rhubarb could alleviate endogenous disorders to varying degrees through regulating multiple perturbed pathways to the normal state, which might be in a dose-dependent manner and involved in therapeutic mechanisms. To sum up, integrated serum and fecal metabolomics obtained that rhubarb ranging from 0.31 to 2.1 g/kg is safe and effective for constipation treatment. Also, our findings showed that the robust metabolomics techniques would be promising to be more accurately used in the dose-effect studies of complex TCM, and to clarify syndrome pathogenesis and action mechanisms in Chinese medicine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpba.2019.112837DOI Listing
January 2020

Effects of traditional Chinese medicine formula Le-Cao-Shi on hepatitis B: In vivo and in vitro studies.

J Ethnopharmacol 2019 Nov 2;244:112132. Epub 2019 Aug 2.

Key Laboratory of Marine Drugs, The Ministry of Education of China, School of Medicine and Pharmacy, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, 266003, PR China; Laboratory for Marine Drugs and Bioproducts, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao, 266237, PR China. Electronic address:

Ethnopharmacological Relevance: Formula Le-Cao-Shi (LCS) is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which has long been used as a folk remedy against hepatitis B in China. The present study was conducted to evaluate the anti-hepatitis B effects of aqueous extract of LCS in vivo and in vitro.

Materials And Method: we investigated the anti-HBV effects of LCS in vivo and in vitro with duck hepatitis B model and HepG2.2.15 cell line model, respectively. The serologic and cellular biomarkers and the histopathological changes were examined.

Results: By a duck hepatitis B model, the extract of LCS was found to restrain the expressions of duck hepatitis B surface antigen (DHBsAg), hepatitis B e antigen (DHBeAg), and HBV-DNA (DHBV-DNA). Moreover, LCS could decrease the levels of aspartate and alanine aminotransferases (AST and ALT) and ameliorate duck liver histological lesions. Correspondingly, in a HepG2.2.15 cellular model, LCS could also significantly inhibit the secretions of HBsAg and HBeAg.

Conclusion: LCS exerted potent anti-hepatitis effects against the infection of HBV. The above results demonstrated the first-hand experimental evidences for the anti-hepatitis B efficiency of LCS. Our study provides a basis for further exploration and development of this promising compound prescription to treat hepatitis B disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2019.112132DOI Listing
November 2019

[Dose-toxicity-effect relationship between licorice combined with rhubarb in purgation].

Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi 2019 May;44(10):2131-2138

Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization and Jiangsu Key Laboratory for High Technology Research of Traditional Chinese Medicine Formulae and National and Local Collaborative Engineering Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization and Formulae Innovative Medicine,Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine Nanjing 210023,China.

The dose-toxicity-effect relationship between licorice combined with rhubarb in purgation was studied. A total of 108 ICR mice were divided into control group,model group,positive group,low,medium and high-dose rhubarb groups,and low,medium and high-dose rhubarb-liquorice decoction group. After 6 days of continuous administration of loperamide hydrochloride,the constipation model of mice was replicated,and each group was given lactulose,different doses of rhubarb and rhubarb-liquorice decoction for 14 days. After administration,the defecation characteristics,blood biochemistry,liver,kidney and colon pathological changes in each group were compared. Based on the objective weight given by factor analysis,the dose-toxicity-effect relationship was comprehensively analyzed by multi-index scoring method. Two common factors were extracted by factor analysis,representing effect and toxicity respectively. The results showed that rhubarb could exert a diarrhea effect at the dosage of 1/2,2 and 8 times of the high limit set forth in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia,increase the defecation volume and the intestinal tract propulsion rate,reduce the time of anal and the oral transmission,and increase the water content of feces. The combination with licorice could alleviate its diarrhea effect,especially at the dosage of 1/2 times of the high limit set forth in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia. However,rhubarb showed obvious hepatic and colon toxicities at the dosage of 2 and 8 times of the high limit set forth in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia,and the combination with licorice could significantly reduce its toxicity. It shows that licorice has a " mediating" effect on rhubarb by alleviating the purgation property and reducing the toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.19540/j.cnki.cjcmm.20190117.003DOI Listing
May 2019

A Ferulic Acid Derivative FXS-3 Inhibits Proliferation and Metastasis of Human Lung Cancer A549 Cells via Positive JNK Signaling Pathway and Negative ERK/p38, AKT/mTOR and MEK/ERK Signaling Pathways.

Molecules 2019 Jun 8;24(11). Epub 2019 Jun 8.

Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization, and Jiangsu Key Laboratory for High Technology Research of TCM Formulae, and National and Local Collaborative Engineering Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization and Formulae Innovative Medicine, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing 210023, Jiangsu Province, China.

Lung cancer is one of the most common malignancies and is an increasing cause of cancer-related deaths. In our previous study, a series of ferulic acid (FA) derivatives were designed and synthesized; they exhibited positive anti-cancer activities, especially for a compound labelled FXS-3. In this study, a 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay was performed, wherein it revealed the inhibitory effect of FXS-3 on the proliferation and metastasis of human lung cancer A549 cells. The further flow cytometry assay showed that FXS-3 induced apoptosis of A549 cells induced cell cycle arrest at the G0/G1 phase. The trans-well migration and Matrigel invasion assays revealed that FXS-3 inhibited the migration and invasion of A549 cells. By the western blotting analysis, FXS-3 increased the expression of B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) associated X protein (Bax)/Bcl-2 ratio, inhibited matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9, and regulated the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)/p38, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), protein kinase B (AKT)/mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), as well as mitogen-activated protein kinase (MEK)/ERK signaling pathways. The subsequent A549 xenograft-bearing mouse model and tail vein injection of A549 cells induced pulmonary tumor metastasis model showed that FXS-3 significantly restrained the tumor growth and metastasis. In conclusion, FXS-3 might inhibit proliferation and metastasis of human lung cancer A549 cells by positively regulating JNK signaling pathway and negativly regulating ERK/p38, AKT/mTOR, and MEK/ERK signaling pathways, which provides important scientific basis for the development of anti-cancer drugs about FA derivatives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules24112165DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6600170PMC
June 2019

Berberine treatment-emergent mild diarrhea associated with gut microbiota dysbiosis.

Biomed Pharmacother 2019 Aug 30;116:109002. Epub 2019 May 30.

Beijing Key Laboratory of Bio-Characteristic Profiling for Evaluation of Rational Drug Use, Beijing Shijitan Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, 100038, China. Electronic address:

Berberine (BBR) is a non-prescription drug to treat various bacteria-associated diarrheas. However, BBR has also been reported to cause diarrhea in clinic, with underlying mechanisms poorly understood. Because altered gut microbial ecology is a potential basis for diarrhea, this study was conducted to investigate the impact of BBR on gut microbiota of treatment-emergent diarrhea. BBR treatment (200 mg/kg, i.g.) in normal rats exhibited no significant changes in serum biochemical parameters but mild diarrhea occurred, accompanied with the decreased gastrointestinal transit time and increased fecal moisture, suggestive of the local effects of BBR in the intestine. Colon histology revealed the decreased abundance of mucus-filled goblet cells in BBR group. Although BBR-treated rats had the enlarged cecum with watery caecal digesta, short-chain fatty acids concentration was significantly lower than control group. Additionally, BBR caused gut microbiota dysbiosis by evaluating the decreased observed species number and Shannon index. BBR increased the relative abundances of families Porphyromonadaceae and Prevotellaceae as well as genera Parabacteroides, Prevotellaceae_UCG-001 and Prevotellaceae_NK3B31_group. Spearman's correlation analysis revealed family Prevotellaceae and genus Prevotellaceae_UCG-001 as the most prominent drivers of the BBR treatment-emergent diarrhea, correlating positively with fecal moisture but negatively with gastrointestinal transit time. This study therefore demonstrated that the treatment-emergent mild diarrhea of BBR was most likely due to the dysbiosis of the gut microbiota.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2019.109002DOI Listing
August 2019

Elucidating dosage-effect relationship of different efficacy of rhubarb in constipation model rats by factor analysis.

J Ethnopharmacol 2019 Jun 11;238:111868. Epub 2019 Apr 11.

Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization, National and Local Collaborative Engineering Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization and Formulae Innovative Medicine, Jiangsu Key Laboratory for High Technology Research of TCM Formulae, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, 210023, Jiangsu Province, China. Electronic address:

Ethnopharmacological Relevance: Rhei Radix et Rhizoma (rhubarb), as the preferred representative of cathartic drugs of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), has a long history of medicinal use and multifarious functions that produce a wide range of dosage. In modern times, rhubarb and its prescriptions are not only used to treat common clinical diseases, but also achieve good results in the treatment of acute, dangerous, severe and difficult diseases. However, rhubarb also has an alias called "General", which means that its efficacy is relatively rapid.

Aim Of The Study: The present study was conducted to simultaneously elucidate dosage-effect relationship of rhubarb of different efficacy, "Removing accumulation with purgation" (E1) and "Clearing heat and purging fire" (E2), providing reference for the safe and effective usage of rhubarb.

Materials And Methods: Three-week-old rats were randomly divided into the normal control group (Con.), model group (Mod.) and rhubarb groups with six doses (0.135, 0.27, 0.81, 1.35, 4.05, 8.1 g/kg). We established a constipation model with gastrointestinal accumulated heat induced by dyspepsia, taking defecation characteristics observed by metabolic cages, alvine pushing rate, gastrointestinal hormones in serum, etc., as indicators of E1, and taking TG, Na-K-ATPase, inflammatory factors and proteins, etc., as indicators of E2. The factor analytic approach was used to systematically evaluate the two effects and analyze the corresponding dosage-effect relationship.

Results: The levels of Gas, AchE, TG, Na-K-ATPase, TNF-α, IL-1β, (p-)NF-κB p65, (p-)p38, (p-)ERK and p-JNK in model rats increased significantly while the levels of defecation, fecal water content, MTL, SS, ET, NTS, VIP, JNK and TLR4 decreased. Compared with the Mod., in rhubarb groups, the increase of faeces, alvine pushing rate, most gastrointestinal hormones, etc., reflected the therapeutic efficacy of E1, and the reduction of TG, Na-K-ATPase, expression levels of inflammatory indexes, etc., reflected the impact of E2. After the analysis, the effective threshold dose ranging from 0.67 to 5.37 g/kg (corresponding to 7.44-59.67 g in the clinic) was in the EC-EC range for E1 treatment and from 0.78 to 5.60 g/kg (equivalently clinical 8.67-62.22 g) was for E2 treatment. And the 1.6- and 1.2-fold rhubarb highest dose of Chinese Pharmacopoeia might be the optimal doses for E1 and E2 respectively. In general, however, the concentration of rhubarb liquid for overall efficacy is suggested to be between middle and highest dose of Chinese Pharmacopoeia.

Conclusion: A constipation model was used to elucidate two main effects of rhubarb, which was consistent with the characteristics of TCM syndrome. In the wide range of rhubarb dosage, low doses might have little or no effect and although high concentrations of rhubarb liquid enhanced curative efficacy, it would also have certain side effects on the body. Therefore, scientific-based experiments and rational analysis by mathematical models could contribute to the safe and effective application of rhubarb in the clinic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2019.111868DOI Listing
June 2019

A network pharmacology approach to investigate the blood enriching mechanism of Danggui buxue Decoction.

J Ethnopharmacol 2019 May 29;235:227-242. Epub 2019 Jan 29.

Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization and Jiangsu Key Laboratory for High Technology Research of Traditional Chinese Medicine Formulae and Key Laboratory of Chinese Medicinal Resources Recycling Utilization, State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing 210023, Jiangsu Province, China.

Ethnopharmacological Relevance: Danggui buxue Decoction (DBD) has been frequently used to treat with blood deficiency, which consisted of Danggui (DG) and Huangqi (HQ) at a ratio of 1:5. Accumulating evidence showed that blood deficiency in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) was similar to anemia in modern medicine.

Aim Of The Study: The purpose of this study was to explore its therapeutic mechanism of with network pharmacology approach.

Materials And Methods: We explored the chemical compounds of DBD and used compound ADME screening to identify the potential compounds. Targets for the therapeutic actions of DBD were obtained from the PharmMapper, Swiss, SEA and STITCH. GO analysis and pathway enrichment analysis was performed using the DAVID webserver. Cytoscape was used to visualize the compound-target-pathway network for DBD. The pharmacodynamics and crucial targets were also validated.

Results: Thirty-six potential active components in DBD and 49 targets which the active components acted on were identified. 47 KEGG pathways which DBD acted on were also come to light. And then, according to KEGG pathway annotation analysis, only 16 pathways seemed to be related to the blood nourishing effect of DBD, such as PI3K-AKT pathway, and so on. Only 32 targets participated in these 16 pathways and they were acted on by 29 of the 36 active compounds. Whole pharmacodynamic experiments showed that DBD had significant effects to blood loss rats. Furthermore, DBD could promote the up-regulation of hematopoietic and immune related targets and the down-regulation of inflammatory related targets. Significantly, with the results of effective rate, molecular docking and experimental validation, we predicted astragaloside IV in HQ, senkyunolide A and senkyunolide K in DG might be the major contributing compounds to DBD's blood enriching effect.

Conclusion: In this study, a systematical network pharmacology approach was built. Our results provided a basis for the future study of senkyunolide A and senkyunolide K as the blood enriching compounds in DBD. Furthermore, combined network pharmacology with validation experimental results, the nourishing blood effect of DBD might be manifested by the dual mechanism of enhancing immunity and promoting hematopoiesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2019.01.027DOI Listing
May 2019

Berberine alleviates insulin resistance by reducing peripheral branched-chain amino acids.

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2019 01 13;316(1):E73-E85. Epub 2018 Nov 13.

Beijing Key Laboratory of Bio-Characteristic Profiling for Evaluation of Rational Drug Use, Beijing Shijitan Hospital, Capital Medical University , Beijing , China.

Increased circulating branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) have been involved in the pathogenesis of obesity and insulin resistance (IR). However, evidence relating berberine (BBR), gut microbiota, BCAAs, and IR is limited. Here, we showed that BBR could effectively rectify steatohepatitis and glucose intolerance in high-fat diet (HFD)-fed mice. BBR reorganized gut microbiota populations under both the normal chow diet (NCD) and HFD. Particularly, BBR noticeably decreased the relative abundance of BCAA-producing bacteria, including order Clostridiales; families Streptococcaceae, Clostridiaceae, and Prevotellaceae; and genera Streptococcus and Prevotella. Compared with the HFD group, predictive metagenomics indicated a reduction in the proportion of gut microbiota genes involved in BCAA biosynthesis but the enrichment genes for BCAA degradation and transport by BBR treatment. Accordingly, the elevated serum BCAAs of HFD group were significantly decreased by BBR. Furthermore, the Western blotting results implied that BBR could promote the BCAA catabolism in the liver and epididymal white adipose tissues of HFD-fed mice by activation of the multienzyme branched-chain α-ketoacid dehydrogenase complex (BCKDC), whereas by inhibition of the phosphorylation state of BCKDHA (E1α subunit) and branched-chain α-ketoacid dehydrogenase kinase (BCKDK). The ex vivo assay further confirmed that BBR could increase BCAA catabolism in both AML12 hepatocytes and 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Finally, data from healthy subjects and diabetics confirmed that BBR could improve glycemic control and modulate circulating BCAAs. Together, our findings clarified BBR improving IR associated not only with gut microbiota alteration in BCAA biosynthesis but also with BCAA catabolism in liver and adipose tissues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00256.2018DOI Listing
January 2019

A Novel Antithrombotic Protease from Marine Worm .

Int J Mol Sci 2018 Oct 4;19(10). Epub 2018 Oct 4.

Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization, and National and Local Collaborative Engineering Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization and Formulae Innovative Medicine, and Jiangsu Key Laboratory for High Technology Research of TCM Formulae, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing 210023, China.

, an old marine species, has great potential for use as functional seafood due to its various bioactivities. Its potential antithrombotic activity pushed us to isolate the bio-active components bio-guided by tracking fibrinolytic activity. As a result, a novel protease named as SK (the kinase obtained from ) was obtained, which possessed a molecular weight of 28,003.67 Da and 15 N-terminal amino acid sequences of PFPVPDPFVWDTSFQ. SK exerted inhibitory effects on thrombus formation through improving the coagulation system with dose-effect relationship within a certain range. Furthermore, in most cases SK got obviously better effect than that of urokinase. With the help of untargeted mass spectrometry-based metabolomics profiling, arachidonic acid, sphingolipid, and nicotinate and nicotinamide mechanism pathways were found to be important pathways. They revealed that the effect mechanism of SK on common carotid arterial thrombosis induced by FeCl₃ was achieved by inhibiting vessel contraction, platelet aggregation, adhesion, and release, correcting endothelial cell dysfunction and retarding process of thrombus formation. This study demonstrated SK was a promising thrombolytic agent on the basis of its comprehensive activities on thrombosis, and it should get further exploitation and utilization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms19103023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6213608PMC
October 2018

[Exploring research ideas of mechanism of dominant diseases in traditional Chinese medicine based on evidence-based medicine].

Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi 2018 Jul;43(13):2633-2638

Beijing Key Laboratory of Bio-characteristic Profiling for Evaluation of Rational Drug Use, Beijing Shijitan Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100038, China.

The prescription of clinical curative effect has promoted the formation and development of the dominant diseases in traditional Chinese medicine, but it has been controversial for a long time because its mechanism has not been effectively explained. Breaking the gap between animal/cell research and clinical research, and understanding the mechanism of dominant diseases in traditional Chinese medicine based on evidence-based medicine has become an important breakthrough in this scientific issue. Therefore, based on evidence-based medicine, we established the research concept that "originating from clinic, testing in experiment, returning to clinic". Taking the classic formula (Jinqi Jiangtang formula) treating diabetes as an example to find characteristic markers of diabetes supported by evidence-based medicine from clinic. We used the reverse analysis strategy of the response of characteristic markers to explore the intervention mechanism of Jinqi Jiangtang formula on characteristic markers. Then, we verified the key signaling molecules of the metabolic regulation of the Jinqi Jiangtang formula in clinic. The research ideas and key technologies for the mechanism of treatment of diabetes by Jinqi Jiangtang formula based on evidence-based medicine are formed, and it is expected to provide research reference for explaining the mechanism of dominant diseases in traditional Chinese medicine based on evidence-based medicine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.19540/j.cnki.cjcmm.20180625.004DOI Listing
July 2018