A Computational Drug-Target Network for Yuanhu Zhitong Prescription

Publication: Evid Based Complement Alternat Med


Yuanhu Zhitong prescription (YZP) is a typical and relatively simple traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), widely used in the clinical treatment of headache, gastralgia, and dysmenorrhea. However, the underlying molecular mechanism of action of YZP is not clear. In this study, basedon the previous chemical and metabolite analysis, a complex approach including the prediction of the structure of metabolite, high-throughput in silico screening, and network reconstruction and analysis was developed to obtain a computational drug-target network for YZP. This was followed by a functional and pathway analysis by ClueGO to determine some of the pharmacologic activities. Further, two new pharmacologic actions, antidepressant and antianxiety, of YZP were validated by animal experiments using zebrafish and mice models. The forced swimming test and the tail suspension test demonstrated that YZP at the doses of 4 mg/kg and 8 mg/kg had better antidepressive activity when compared with the control group. The anxiolytic activity experiment showed that YZP at the doses of 100 mg/L, 150 mg/L, and 200 mg/L had significant decrease in diving compared to controls. These results not only shed light on the better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of YZP for curing diseases, but also provide some evidence for exploring the classic TCM formulas for new clinical application.