Background: Diabetes is a complex metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia, plaguing the whole world. However, the action mode of multi-component and multi-target for traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) could be a promising treatment of diabetes mellitus. According to the previous research, the TCM of polygonum multiflorum (PM) showed noteworthy hypoglycemic effect. Up to now, its hypoglycemic active ingredients and mechanism of action are not yet clear. In this study, network pharmacology was employed to elucidate the potential bioactive compounds and hypoglycemic mechanism of Polygonum multiflorum (PM).
Methods: First, the compounds with good pharmacokinetic properties were screened from the self-established library of PM, and the targets of these compounds were predicted and collected through database. Relevant targets of diabetes were summarized by searching database. The intersection targets of compound-targets and disease-targets were obtained soon. Secondly, the interaction net between the compounds and the filtered targets was established. These key targets were enriched and analyzed by PPI analysis, molecular docking verification. Thirdly, the key genes were used to find the biologic pathway and explain the therapeutic mechanism by GO and KEGG analysis. Lastly, the part of potential bioactive compounds were under enzyme activity inhibition tests.
Results: In this study, 29 hypoglycemic components and 63 hypoglycemic targets of PM were filtrated based on online network database. Then the component-target interaction network was constructed and five key components resveratrol, apigenin, kaempferol, quercetin and luteolin were further obtained. Sequential studies turned out, AKT1, EGFR, ESR1, PTGS2, MMP9, MAPK14, and KDR were the common key targets. Docking studies indicated that the bioactive compounds could stably bind the pockets of target proteins. There were 38 metabolic pathways, including regulation of lipolysis in adipocytes, prolactin signaling pathway, TNF signaling pathway, VEGF signaling pathway, FoxO signaling pathway, estrogen signaling pathway, linoleic acid metabolism, Rap1 signaling pathway, arachidonic acid metabolism, and osteoclast differentiation closely connected with the hypoglycemic mechanism of PM.
Conclusion: In summary, the study used systems pharmacology to elucidate the main hypoglycemic components and mechanism of PM. The work provided a scientific basis for the further hypoglycemic effect research of PM and its monomer components, but also provided a reference for the secondary development of PM.