Background: Shenzhuo formula is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) prescription which has significant therapeutic effects on diabetic nephropathy (DN). However, its mechanism remains unknown. Therefore, this study aimed to explore the underlying anti-DN mechanism of shenzhuo formula.
Methods: The active ingredients and targets of shenzhuo formula were obtained by searching TCMSP, TCMID, SwissTargetPrediction and HIT. The DN target was identified from TTD, DrugBank and DisGeNet. The potential targets were obtained and PPI network were built after mapping the disease and drug targets. The key targets were screened out by network topology and the “drugs - DN - key targets” network was constructed by Cytoscape. GO analysis and KEGG pathway enrichment analysis were performed using DAVID, and the results were visualized using the Omicshare Tools.
Results: We obtained 182 potential targets and 30 key targets. Ulteriorly, “drugs - DN - key targets” network were constructed, and results showed that nodes like M51, M21, M5, M71, M28, EGFR, MMP9, MAPK8, PIK3CA and STAT3 had a higher degree. GO analysis results mainly involved in positive regulation of transcription from RNA polymerase II promoter, inflammatory response, lipopolysaccharide-mediated signaling
pathway and other biological processes. The results of KEGG showed that DN-related pathways like TNF signaling pathway, PI3K-Akt signaling pathway were at the top of the list.
Conclusion: This article reveals the possible mechanism of shenzhuo formula in the treatment of DN through network pharmacology research, and lays a foundation for further studies.