Table_1_In Silico Study of Anti-Insomnia Mechanism for Suanzaoren Prescription.xlsx

Insomnia is a common and widespread sleeping disorder caused by various risk factors. Though beneficial, conventional treatments of insomnia have significant limitations. As an alternative treatment, Chinese herbal formula Suanzaoren prescription (SZRP), composed of Suanzaoren [seeds of Ziziphus jujuba var. spinosa (Bunge) Hu ex H.F.Chow] and four additional herbs, has been reported with significant anti-insomnia effects. Yet the anti-insomnia mechanism of the herb formulae remains unknown. In this study, we attempted to extrapolate the holistic anti-insomnia mechanism of SZRP through herbal targeting and network pharmacology. The results indicated that the ingredients of Suanzaoren can target multi-neurotransmitter receptors at synapse interface, which was reported to be associated with sedative and hypnotic effects, while the four additional herbs can hit multiple pathways downstream of membrane neurotransmitters. Furthermore, the four additional herbs showed highly cooperative targeting patterns in the paralleled and cross-talked pathways related to inflammatory regulation and endocrine system, which may contribute to the additional relief of insomnia caused by inflammation, anxiety, or endocrine disorder. The interesting complementary mechanism we found among the herbal groups of SZRP may provide an example to study Chinese herbal formula and offers clues to future design of anti-insomnia strategy.