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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Pharmacol. | doi: 10.3389/fphar.2019.00925

In-silico Study of Anti-Insomnia Mechanism for Suanzaoren Prescription

 Jian Gao1,  Qiming Wang1, Yuwei Huang1,  Kailin Tang1, Xue Yang2* and  Zhiwei Cao1*
  • 1School of Life Sciences and Technology, Shanghai Tenth People's Hospital, Tongji University, China
  • 2Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Yangpu Hospital, China

Insomnia is a common and widespread sleeping disorder caused by various risk factors. Though beneficial, conventional treatments of insomnia have significant limitations. As an alternative treatment, Chinese herbal formula Suanzaoren prescription (SZRP), composed of Suanzaoren (seeds of Ziziphus jujuba var. spinosa (Bunge) Hu ex H.F.Chow) and four additional herbs, has been reported with significant anti-insomnia effects. Yet the anti-insomnia mechanism of the herb formulae remains unknown. In this study, we attempted to extrapolate the holistic anti-insomnia mechanism of SZRP through herbal targeting and network pharmacology level. The results indicated that the ingredients of Suanzaoren can target multi-neurotransmitter receptors at synapse interface, which was reported to be associated with sedative and hypnotic effects. While the four additional herbs can hit multiple pathways downstream of membrane neurotransmitters. Furthermore, the four additional herbs showed highly cooperative targeting patterns in the paralleled and cross-talked pathways related to inflammatory regulation and endocrine system, which may contribute to the additional relief of insomnia caused by inflammation, anxiety or endocrine disorder. The interesting complementary mechanism we found among the herbal groups of SZRP may provide an example to study Chinese herbal formula, and offers clues to future design of anti-insomnia strategy.

Keywords: Network Pharmacology, Suanzaoren prescription, insomnia, bioinformatics, systematic analysis

Received: 16 Jan 2019; Accepted: 22 Jul 2019.

Edited by:

Shi-Bing Su, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, China

Reviewed by:

Yun K. Tam, Sinoveda Canada Inc., Canada
Feng ZHU, College of Pharmaceutical Science, Zhejiang University, China
Lin Tao, Hangzhou Normal University, China  

Copyright: © 2019 Gao, Wang, Huang, Tang, Yang and Cao. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Prof. Xue Yang, Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Yangpu Hospital, Shanghai, China, yxkxl@163.com
Prof. Zhiwei Cao, School of Life Sciences and Technology, Shanghai Tenth People's Hospital, Tongji University, Shanghai, China, zwcao@tongji.edu.cn