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Molecules 2017, 22(4), 632; doi:10.3390/molecules22040632

A Network-Based Pharmacology Study of the Herb-Induced Liver Injury Potential of Traditional Hepatoprotective Chinese Herbal Medicines

1
School of Chinese Medicine, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
2
Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Hala Gali-Muhtasib
Received: 2 March 2017 / Revised: 6 April 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 14 April 2017
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Abstract

Herbal medicines are widely used for treating liver diseases and generally regarded as safe due to their extensive use in Traditional Chinese Medicine practice for thousands of years. However, in recent years, there have been increased concerns regarding the long-term risk of Herb-Induced Liver Injury (HILI) in patients with liver dysfunction. Herein, two representative Chinese herbal medicines: one—Xiao-Chai-Hu-Tang (XCHT)—a composite formula, and the other—Radix Polygoni Multiflori (Heshouwu)—a single herb, were analyzed by network pharmacology study. Based on the network pharmacology framework, we exploited the potential HILI effects of XCHT and Heshouwu by predicting the molecular mechanisms of HILI and identified the potential hepatotoxic ingredients in XCHT and Heshouwu. According to our network results, kaempferol and thymol in XCHT and rhein in Heshouwu exhibit the largest number of liver injury target connections, whereby CASP3, PPARG and MCL1 may be potential liver injury targets for these herbal medicines. This network pharmacology assay might serve as a useful tool to explore the underlying molecular mechanism of HILI. Based on the theoretical predictions, further experimental verification should be performed to validate the accuracy of the predicted interactions between herbal ingredients and protein targets in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: hepatoprotective Chinese herbal medicines; Xiao-Chai-Hu-Tang; Radix Polygoni Multiflori; Herb-Induced Liver Injury; network pharmacology hepatoprotective Chinese herbal medicines; Xiao-Chai-Hu-Tang; Radix Polygoni Multiflori; Herb-Induced Liver Injury; network pharmacology
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Hong, M.; Li, S.; Tan, H.Y.; Cheung, F.; Wang, N.; Huang, J.; Feng, Y. A Network-Based Pharmacology Study of the Herb-Induced Liver Injury Potential of Traditional Hepatoprotective Chinese Herbal Medicines. Molecules 2017, 22, 632.

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