Table2_Integrated Chemical Interpretation and Network Pharmacology Analysis to Reveal the Anti-Liver Fibrosis Effect of Penthorum chinense.doc
Liver fibrosis is a disease with complex pathological mechanisms. Penthorum chinense Pursh (P. chinense) is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for liver injury treatment. However, the pharmacological mechanisms of P. chinense on liver fibrosis have not been investigated and clarified clearly. This study was designed to investigate the chemicals in P. chinense and explore its effect on liver fibrosis. First, we developed a highly efficient method, called DDA-assisted DIA, which can both broaden mass spectrometry (MS) coverage and MS2 quality. In DDA-assisted DIA, data-dependent acquisition (DDA) and data-independent acquisition (DIA) were merged to construct a molecular network, in which 1,094 mass features were retained in Penthorum chinense Pursh (P. chinense). Out of these, 169 compounds were identified based on both MS1 and MS2 analysis. After that, based on a network pharmacology study, 94 bioactive compounds and 440 targets of P. chinense associated with liver fibrosis were obtained, forming a tight compound–target network. Meanwhile, the network pharmacology experimental results showed that multiple pathways interacted with the HIF-1 pathway, which was first identified involved in P. chinense. It could be observed that some proteins, such as TNF-α, Timp1, and HO-1, were involved in the HIF-1 pathway. Furthermore, the pharmacological effects of P. chinense on these proteins were verified by CCl4-induced rat liver fibrosis, and P. chinense was found to improve liver functions through regulating TNF-α, Timp1, and HO-1 expressions. In summary, DDA-assisted DIA could provide more detailed compound information, which will help us to annotate the ingredients of TCM, and combination with computerized network pharmacology provided a theoretical basis for revealing the mechanism of P. chinense.