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Front. Pharmacol. | doi: 10.3389/fphar.2019.01261

Integrated Metabolomics Based on "Correlations between Chemical and Metabolic Profiles" Applied to Screening for Potential Active Components of Fangji Huangqi Tang on the Treatment of Nephrotic Syndrome

 Xiao Liu1*,  Qi-Gang Zhou2, Xiao-Chai Zhu1, Li Xie1 and Bao-Chang Cai1
  • 1Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, China
  • 2Nanjing Medical University, China

As far as the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) prescription was concerned, what puzzled researchers most was how to select proper chemical markers to represent the whole pharmacological action system. In this paper, an integrated metabolomic method was presented for a systematic discovery of potential active components of Fangji Huangqi Tang (FHT), a well-known TCM prescription for nephrotic syndrome treatment, based on "correlations between chemical and metabolic profiles". Firstly, metabolomics study was carried out to select representative biomarkers of nephrotic syndrome. Then, after drug administration, the dynamic process of serum composition was investigated by UHPLC-ESI-Q-TOF-MS technique to detect the prototype and related metabolites of relative components from FHT. Pearson correlation analysis was finally used to find out the correlations between the endogenous metabolic spectrums and the chemical serum spectrums. As a result, 17 biomarkers for nephrotic syndrome indication were identified, and the main metabolic pathways of their concern included linoleic acid metabolism, cayanoamino acid metabolism, alpha-linolenic acid metabolism, glycine, serine and threonine metabolism, arachidonic acid metabolism and glycerophospholipid metabolism. Meanwhile, active components in FHT for nephrotic syndrome treatment were screened out, including (+)-tetandrine-demethylation, fefangjine hydrogenation, tetrandrine, N-methyfangchinoline, tetrandrine-demethylation, fangchinoline, glycyrrhetic acid, astragaloside II-alcoholde hydration, atractylenolide III-demethylation+hydrogenation, atractylenolide III-demethylation+hydrogenation and licoricone-N-acetylcysteine conjugation. Also, this study demonstrated a promising way to elucidate the compatibility effects of TCM prescription.

Keywords: Fangji huangqi tang, Metabonomics, Correlation analysis, Nephrotic Syndrome, marker

Received: 24 Apr 2019; Accepted: 30 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Liu, Zhou, Zhu, Xie and Cai. 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. Xiao Liu, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, China, liuxiao04_0@163.com