Background: The roots of Polygonum multiflorum (PM) are a well-known traditional Chinese medicine, widely used to treat a variety of conditions in Southeast Asia, South Korea, Japan and other countries. It is known that Polygoni Multiflori Radix Praeparata (PMRP) may enhance the efficacy and reduce the toxicity of PM. However, reports of adverse reactions, such as hepatotoxicity, caused by PM or PMRP, have continuously appeared around the world, which increased the known risks of the medication and gradually gained the extensive attention of many researchers. The chemical constituents of PM that cause hepatotoxicity have not been distinctly elucidated using the traditional phytochemical screening. Recently, with the rapid development of metabolomics, there has been a growing need to explore the potential hepatotoxic components and mechanisms of PM.
Methods: The metabolites and metabolomics of PM were searched by the Web of Science, PubMed, Google scholar and some Chinese literature databases.
Results: A brief description of metabolites and metabolomics of PM is followed by a discussion on the metabolite- induced toxicity in this review. More than 100 metabolites were tentatively identified and this will contribute to further understanding of the potential hepatotoxic components of PM. Meanwhile, some toxic compounds were identified and could be used as potential toxic markers of PM.
Conclusion: This review mainly outlines the metabolites and metabolomics of PM that have been identified in recent years. This study could help to clarify the potential hepatotoxic components and metabolic mechanisms of PM and provide a scientific reference for its safe clinical use in the future.
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