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      Network Pharmacology and Molecular Docking Study of the Chinese Miao Medicine Sidaxue in the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis


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          This study aimed to investigate the molecular mechanisms of Compound Sidaxue (SX), a prescription of Chinese Miao medicine, in treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA) using network pharmacology and in vivo experimental approaches.


          Network pharmacology was adopted to detect the active components of four Traditional Chinese herbal medicine (TCM) of SX, and the key targets and signaling pathways in the treatment of RA were predicted, and the key components and targets were screened for molecular docking. The predicted targets and pathways were validated in bovine type II collagen and incomplete Freund’s adjuvant emulsifier-induced rat RA model.


          In this study, we identified 33 active components from SX, predicted to act on 44 RA-associated targets by network pharmacology. PPI network demonstrated that TNF-α, VEGF-A, IL-2, IL-6, AKT, PI3K, STAT1 may serve as the key targets of SX for the treatment of RA. The main functional pathways involving these key targets include PI3K-AKT signaling pathway, TNF signaling pathway, NF-κB signaling pathway. Molecular docking analysis found that the active components β-amyrin, cajanin, eleutheroside A have high affinity for TNF-α, VEGFA, IL-2, AKT, and PI3K, etc. SX can improve joint swelling in Collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) rats, reduce inflammatory cell infiltration and angiogenesis in joint synovial tissue, and down-regulate IL-2, IL-6, TNF-α, VEGF, PI3K, AKT, p-AKT, NF-κBp65, the expression of p-NF-κBp65, STAT1, and PTGS2 are used to control the exacerbation of inflammation and alleviate the proliferation of synovial pannus, and at the same time play the role of cartilage protection to achieve the effect of treating RA.


          Through a network pharmacology approach and animal study, we predicted and validated the active compounds of SX and their potential targets for RA treatment. The results suggest that SX can markedly alleviate CIA rat by modulating the VEGF/PI3K/AKT signaling pathway, TNF-α signaling pathway, IL/NF-κB signaling pathway.

          Most cited references86

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          TCMSP: a database of systems pharmacology for drug discovery from herbal medicines

          Background Modern medicine often clashes with traditional medicine such as Chinese herbal medicine because of the little understanding of the underlying mechanisms of action of the herbs. In an effort to promote integration of both sides and to accelerate the drug discovery from herbal medicines, an efficient systems pharmacology platform that represents ideal information convergence of pharmacochemistry, ADME properties, drug-likeness, drug targets, associated diseases and interaction networks, are urgently needed. Description The traditional Chinese medicine systems pharmacology database and analysis platform (TCMSP) was built based on the framework of systems pharmacology for herbal medicines. It consists of all the 499 Chinese herbs registered in the Chinese pharmacopoeia with 29,384 ingredients, 3,311 targets and 837 associated diseases. Twelve important ADME-related properties like human oral bioavailability, half-life, drug-likeness, Caco-2 permeability, blood-brain barrier and Lipinski’s rule of five are provided for drug screening and evaluation. TCMSP also provides drug targets and diseases of each active compound, which can automatically establish the compound-target and target-disease networks that let users view and analyze the drug action mechanisms. It is designed to fuel the development of herbal medicines and to promote integration of modern medicine and traditional medicine for drug discovery and development. Conclusions The particular strengths of TCMSP are the composition of the large number of herbal entries, and the ability to identify drug-target networks and drug-disease networks, which will help revealing the mechanisms of action of Chinese herbs, uncovering the nature of TCM theory and developing new herb-oriented drugs. TCMSP is freely available at http://sm.nwsuaf.edu.cn/lsp/tcmsp.php.
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            Rheumatoid arthritis

            Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, inflammatory, autoimmune disease that primarily affects the joints and is associated with autoantibodies that target various molecules including modified self-epitopes. The identification of novel autoantibodies has improved diagnostic accuracy, and newly developed classification criteria facilitate the recognition and study of the disease early in its course. New clinical assessment tools are able to better characterize disease activity states, which are correlated with progression of damage and disability, and permit improved follow-up. In addition, better understanding of the pathogenesis of RA through recognition of key cells and cytokines has led to the development of targeted disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. Altogether, the improved understanding of the pathogenetic processes involved, rational use of established drugs and development of new drugs and reliable assessment tools have drastically altered the lives of individuals with RA over the past 2 decades. Current strategies strive for early referral, early diagnosis and early start of effective therapy aimed at remission or, at the least, low disease activity, with rapid adaptation of treatment if this target is not reached. This treat-to-target approach prevents progression of joint damage and optimizes physical functioning, work and social participation. In this Primer, we discuss the epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of RA.
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              Traditional Chinese medicine network pharmacology: theory, methodology and application.

              Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has a long history of viewing an individual or patient as a system with different statuses, and has accumulated numerous herbal formulae. The holistic philosophy of TCM shares much with the key ideas of emerging network pharmacology and network biology, and meets the requirements of overcoming complex diseases, such as cancer, in a systematic manner. To discover TCM from a systems perspective and at the molecular level, a novel TCM network pharmacology approach was established by updating the research paradigm from the current "one target, one drug" mode to a new "network target, multi-components" mode. Subsequently, a set of TCM network pharmacology methods were created to prioritize disease-associated genes, to predict the target profiles and pharmacological actions of herbal compounds, to reveal drug-gene-disease co-module associations, to screen synergistic multi-compounds from herbal formulae in a high-throughput manner, and to interpret the combinatorial rules and network regulation effects of herbal formulae. The effectiveness of the network-based methods was demonstrated for the discovery of bioactive compounds and for the elucidation of the mechanisms of action of herbal formulae, such as Qing-Luo-Yin and the Liu-Wei-Di-Huang pill. The studies suggest that the TCM network pharmacology approach provides a new research paradigm for translating TCM from an experience-based medicine to an evidence-based medicine system, which will accelerate TCM drug discovery, and also improve current drug discovery strategies. Copyright © 2013 China Pharmaceutical University. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                19 February 2022
                : 16
                : 435-466
                [1 ]Guizhou Medical University , Guiyang, Guizhou, People’s Republic of China
                [2 ]Department of Chemistry, University of Hull , Hull, Yorkshire, HU6 7RX, UK
                [3 ]Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Calgary , Calgary, AB, Canada
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Shenggang Yang, Guizhou Medical University , Guiyang, Guizhou, 550025, People’s Republic of China, Tel/Fax +86 13158000576, Email yangshenggang2021@126.com
                Xiaotian Dai, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Calgary , Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4, Canada, Tel/Fax +1 435 754 4980, Email xiaotian.dai@uCalgary.ca

                These authors contributed equally to this work

                Author information
                © 2022 Wu et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                : 24 July 2021
                : 24 January 2022
                Page count
                Figures: 16, Tables: 19, References: 89, Pages: 32
                Original Research

                Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine
                network pharmacology,molecular docking,rheumatoid arthritis,sidaxue,vegf/pi3k/akt signaling pathway,tnf-α signaling pathway,il/nf-κb signaling pathway


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