Table4_A Preliminary Inquiry Into the Potential Mechanism of Huang-Lian-Jie-Du Decoction in Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis via Network Pharmacology and Molecular Docking.XLSX
Huang-Lian-Jie-Du decoction (HLJDD) has been widely applied to treat inflammation-associated diseases for thousands of years in China. However, the concrete molecular mechanism of HLJDD in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) remains unclear. In this work, network pharmacology and molecular docking were applied to preliminarily analyze the potential active ingredients, drug targets, and related pathways of HLJDD on treating RA. A total of 102 active compounds with corresponding 189 targets were identified from HLJDD, and 41 common targets were further identified by intersecting with RA-related targets. Functional enrichment analysis was performed to screen the biological pathways associated with RA. Ten hub targets were further identified through constructing the protein–protein interaction (PPI) network of common targets, which were mainly enriched in the interleukin-17 (IL-17) signaling pathway, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) signaling pathway, and Toll-like receptor signaling pathway. Furthermore, a complex botanical drugs-ingredients-hub-targets-disease network was successfully constructed. The molecular docking results exhibited that these vital ingredients of HLJDD had a stable binding to the hub targets. Among these ingredients, quercetin (MOL000098) was the most common molecule with stable binding to all the targets, and PTGS2 was considered the most important target with multiple regulations by the most active ingredients. In vitro, we successfully validated the inhibitory role of quercetin in the cellular proliferation of human RA fibroblast-like synoviocyte cell line (MH7A cells). These findings indicated that the potential mechanisms of HLJDD for RA treatment might be attributed to inhibiting the immune-inflammatory response, reducing the release of chemokines, and alleviating the destruction of extracellular matrix (ECM) in the synovial compartment.