In this study, Herb-Symptom analysis of Erchen Decoction combined Xiebai Powder (ECXB) prescription was conducted based on the SymMap platform, and the synergistic mechanism of this prescription in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was explored by network pharmacology and molecular docking method.
The SymMap platform was used to collect information related to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) symptoms and Modern Medicine (MM) symptoms prescribed by ECXB, and the “Herb-TCM Symptoms” network and “Herb-MM symptoms” network were drawn for Herb-Symptom analysis. TCMSP database was used to screen the active ingredients and corresponding targets of ECXB. GeneCards database was used to screen Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease related targets, which were mapped to the predicted targets of ECXB to obtain the action targets of ECXB in the treatment of Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Cytoscape software was used to construct the “Drug-ingredient-target” network. Protein-protein Interaction (PPI) network was analyzed by STRING database, and the core targets were obtained. DAVID database was used for Gene Ontology (GO) analysis and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Gene and Genome (KEGG) pathway enrichment analysis.
Herb-Symptom analysis showed that ECXB prescription drugs had similar symptoms with COPD patients. Network pharmacology obtained 170 active ingredients with 137 corresponding targets, and 7002 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease action targets were obtained. 120 ECXB treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease joint action targets were obtained by intersection mapping, among which the core targets include MAPK8, ESR1, TP53, MAPK3, JUN, RELA, MAPK1, and AKT1. The GO enrichment analysis results indicated that ECXB mainly participates in response to drug, response to nutrient levels, response to extracellular stimulus, response to oxygen levels, and other biological processes. The pathway analysis showed that ECXB treating Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by regulating hepatitis B, pathways in cancer, TNF signaling pathway, and so on.
This study analyzed the medication rule of ECXB prescription in the treatment of COPD from a new perspective, and found that the symptoms of TCM treatment with ECXB prescription were similar to those of Modern medicine treatment, and that ECXB could treat COPD through multi-component, multi-target, and multi-pathway synergistic effects, providing a scientific basis for further study on the mechanism of ECXB treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It also provides new ideas for drug development.