Xue Bai 1 , Yibo Tang 2 , Qiang Li 1 , Dan Liu 1 , Guimin Liu 1 , Xiaolei Fan 2 , Zhejun Liu 2 , Shujun Yu 1 , Tian Tang 1 , Shuyan Wang 2 , Lingru Li 3 , Kailin Zhou 4 , Yanfei Zheng 3 , Zhenquan Liu 1 , 3
17 May 2021
One of the most common types of male infertility is recognized as oligoasthenozoospermia (OA), characterized by low sperm count and quality in males. As a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Cuscutae Semen-Mori Fructus coupled-herbs (CSMFCH) has been known to act a curative effect on OA for thousands of years. Nevertheless, the substantial basis and molecular mechanism of CSMFCH in treating OA remain elusive.
Herein, an integrated approach, including network pharmacology, molecular docking, and experiment validation, was utilized to reveal the new candidate active component and mechanism of CSMFCH in treating OA.
The results show that kaempferol is the most significant bioactive component of CSMFCH on OA. The mechanism and targets of CSMFCH against OA are relevant to hormone regulation, oxidant stress, and reproductive promotion. In order to validate network pharmacology results, molecular docking and experiment validation were conducted. In detail, molecular docking was employed to verify the strong binding interactions between kaempferol and the core targets. UHPLC-Q-Orbitrap-MS was used to identify kaempferol in the CSMFCH extract. In vitro and in vivo experiments further proved CSMFCH and kaempferol could enhance the mouse Leydig (TM3) and mouse Sertoli (TM4) cell viability, improve the male reproductive organ weights, sperm quality, and decrease testis tissue damage in the OA mouse model induced by CP.