Table_1_Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis Using Combination of Methotrexate and Tripterygium Glycosides Tablets—A Quantitative Plasma Pharmacochemical and Pseudotargeted Metabolomic Approach.docx

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by chronic destructive synovitis and is associated with progressive disability, systemic difficulties, premature death, and socioeconomic costs. Early intervention with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) like methotrexate (MTX) and its combination regimen would provide obvious benefits to patients, healthcare systems and society. MTX and tripterygium glycosides tablets (TGTS) are most frequently prescribed medicines for RA, and the combination of them occurs frequently in anti-RA prescriptions. While the underlying combination mechanisms and the affected variation of drug blood level remain unclear. According to the American College of Rheumatology criteria for improvement, clinical evaluation following three treatment groups (i.e., MTX and TGTS mono- and combined groups) were carried out at baseline and at the end of 12 weeks in a randomized controlled clinical trial. To monitor the affected variation of drug blood level and perturbation of metabolites caused by MTX plus TGTS combined to treat active RA, the collected plasma samples were analyzed using RRLC-QqQ-MS and UHPLC-QE Orbitrap HRMS instruments. As a result, 39 metabolites including 7 MTX-related metabolites, 13 TGTS-related migratory ingredients and 19 characteristic endogenous metabolites, were quantitatively determined in plasma samples of RA patients after oral administration. The potential mechanism of MTX and TGTS combination were preliminarily elucidated on the aspect of clinical biochemical test indicators integrated with quantitative plasma pharmacochemistry and the pseudotargeted metabolomics.