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Molecules 2017, 22(9), 1465; doi:10.3390/molecules22091465

Synergic Anti-Pruritus Mechanisms of Action for the Radix Sophorae Flavescentis and Fructus Cnidii Herbal Pair

1,†
,
2,†
,
1,* and 2,*
1
School of Chinese Materia Medica, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510006, China
2
School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-Sen University, 132 East Circle Road at University City, Guangzhou 510006, China
These authors contribute equally.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 July 2017 / Revised: 24 August 2017 / Accepted: 31 August 2017 / Published: 4 September 2017
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Abstract

Radix Sophorae Flavescentis (RSF) and Fructus Cnidii (FC) compose a typical herbal synergic pair in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for pruritus symptom treatments. The mechanisms of action for the synergy are not understood. This paper aims at predicting the anti-pruritus targets and the main active ingredients for the RSF and FC herbal pair. We demonstrate that the RSF–FC herbal pair can be elucidated by mining the chemical structures of compounds derived from RSF and FC. Based on chemical structure data, the putative targets for RSF and FC were predicted. Additional putative targets that interact with the anti-pruritus targets were derived by mapping the putative targets onto a PPI network. By examining the annotations of these proteins, we conclude that (1) RSF’s active compounds are mainly alkaloids and flavonoids. The representative putative targets of the alkaloids are inflammation-related proteins (MAPK14, PTGS2, PTGS2, and F2) and pruritus-related proteins (HRH1, TRPA1, HTR3A, and HTR6). The representative putative targets of the flavonoids are inflammation-related proteins (TNF, NF-κB, F2, PTGS2, and PTGS2) and pruritus-related proteins (NR3C1 and IL2). (2) FC’s active compounds are mainly coumarins. Their representative putative targets are CNS-related proteins (AChE and OPRK1) and inflammation-related proteins (PDE4D, TLR9, and NF-κB). (3) Both RSF and FC display anti-inflammatory effects, though they exhibit their anti-pruritus effects in different ways. Their synergy shows that RSF regulates inflammation-related pruritus and FC regulates CNS-related pruritus. View Full-Text
Keywords: Radix Sophorae Flavescentis (RSF); Fructus Cnidii (FC); anti-pruritus; synergic mechanism Radix Sophorae Flavescentis (RSF); Fructus Cnidii (FC); anti-pruritus; synergic mechanism
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Zhong, J.; Liu, Z.; Zhou, X.; Xu, J. Synergic Anti-Pruritus Mechanisms of Action for the Radix Sophorae Flavescentis and Fructus Cnidii Herbal Pair. Molecules 2017, 22, 1465.

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