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

Front. Pharmacol. | doi: 10.3389/fphar.2019.01065

Deciphering the mechanism of action for Huayu-Qiangshen-Tongbi formula, an herbal formula, on treating rheumatoid arthritis

 Zihao Wang1,  Ke-Gang Linghu1,  Yuanjia Hu1, Huali Zuo1, Hao Yi2, Shi-Hang Xiong1, Jinjian Lu1, Ging Chan1*,  Hua YU1* and  Run-Yue Huang2, 3
  • 1University of Macau, China
  • 2Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Chinese Medicine, China
  • 3Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Clinical Research on Traditional Chinese Medicine Syndrome, China

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease, causing articular and extra articular dysfunctions among patients, and it could lead to irreversible joint damage or disability if left untreated. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) formula, Huayu-Qiangshen-Tongbi (HT) formula, has been found successful in controlling RA in TCM clinics. In this study, we conducted a systematic analysis of the HT formula with a purpose of proposing the potential mechanism of action (MOA) for it by using network pharmacological methods. The potential targets of the formula were collected and screened according to the topological features of their protein-protein interaction (PPI) network, and we subsequently validated our prediction results through in vitro experiments. We proposed that HT formula could interfere with the bone metabolism and the inflammatory pathways of the body. The experimental validation results indicated that HT formula could exhibit anti-inflammatory effects by regulating several signaling pathways including the Toll-like receptor signaling pathway, PI3K - Akt signaling pathway, HIF-1 signaling pathway, MAPK signaling pathway and AP-1 signaling pathway.

Keywords: Rheumatoid arthritis, Network Pharmacology, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Huayu-Qiangshen-Tongbi formula, In vitro validation

Received: 19 Mar 2019; Accepted: 21 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Wang, Linghu, Hu, Zuo, Yi, Xiong, Lu, Chan, YU and Huang. 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. Ging Chan, University of Macau, Macau, 130012, Shanghai Municipality, China, gchan@um.edu.mo
Dr. Hua YU, University of Macau, Macau, 130012, Shanghai Municipality, China, yuhuayu@vip.sina.com