A Network Pharmacology Approach to Reveal the Underlying Mechanisms of Zuogui Yin in the Treatment of Male Infertility

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Author(s): Qi Zhao, Hengheng Dai, Jisheng Wang, Fei Yan, Guejin Jang, Jianxiong Ma, Bin Wang*, Haisong Li*

Journal Name: Combinatorial Chemistry & High Throughput Screening
Accelerated Technologies for Biotechnology, Bioassays, Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products Research

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Background and Aim: Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), as a complementary and alternative therapy, has played increasingly important roles in clinical treatment and disease prevention. Zuogui Yin (ZGY) is one of the well-known TCM prescription used for the treatment of male infertility. To fully reveal the potential mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effects of ZGY on male infertility, a network pharmacology approach was conducted at the molecular level.

Methods: Network pharmacology approach was used in this study, which mainly included active compound screening, target prediction, gene enrichment analysis and network analysis.

Results: The network analysis successfully identified 148 potential active ingredients of ZGY and 155 predicted targets that were associated with male infertility. ZGY might play a role in the treatment of male infertility by regulating ten hub targets (VEGFA, CASP3 , TNF, AKT1, EGF, EGFR, IL-6, MAPK1, TP53 and PTGS2) and six pathways (TNF signaling pathway, PI3K-Akt signaling pathway, FoxO signaling pathway, Toll-like receptor signaling pathway, VEGF signaling pathway and MAPK signaling pathway).

Conclusion: This study explored the pharmacological activity and molecular mechanisms of ZGY against male infertility from a holistic perspective. The underlying molecular mechanisms were closely related to the intervention of oxidative stress and apoptosis with CASP3, TP53, AKT1 and MAPK1 being possible targets.

Keywords: Network pharmacology, Male infertility, Zuogui Yin, Traditional Chinese Medicine, GO, KEGG

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(E-pub Ahead of Print)
DOI: 10.2174/1386207323999200824112611
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