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Papers of the Week

2022 Jul 22

Medicine (Baltimore)



Network pharmacology-based pharmacological mechanism prediction on Eucommia ulmoides against rheumatoid arthritis.


Ying Y, Tang Z, Niu F, Xu T, Xia C, Zhang S
Medicine (Baltimore). 2022 Jul 22; 101(29):e29658.
PMID: 35866805.


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common chronic autoimmune disease characterized by synovial inflammation and progressive joint destruction. Eucommia ulmoides (EU) is a kidney-tonifying Chinese medicine that has been applied to treat RA for decides. The present study aims to explore pharmacological mechanisms of EU against RA using network pharmacology approach. Traditional Chinese Medicine Systems Pharmacology (TCMSP) database was used to screen active ingredients of EU, and their relative targets were fished from UniProt database. RA-related targets were screened from GeneCards database and DisGeNET database. The overlapping genes between EU and RA were identified by Venn diagram, and further analyzed for protein-protein interaction (PPI), Gene Ontology (GO), Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG). Fifty active ingredients were identified in EU, and corresponded to 207 targets. Meanwhile, 499 targets were closely associated with RA development. A total of 50 overlapping genes between EU and RA were identified, which were regarded as therapeutically relevant. GO enrichment analysis indicated that EU exerted antiRA effects depending on regulating multiple biological processes including inflammatory response, oxidative stress, cell apoptosis and matrix catabolism. Several key pathways such as TNF pathway, IL-17 pathway, T cell receptor pathway, NOD-like receptor pathway and Toll-like receptor pathway, were involved in the above biological processes. Network pharmacology revealed that EU exerts therapeutic effects on RA through multi-ingredients, multi-targets and multi-pathways, which provides basis for its clinical application and promising directions for subsequent research.