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Issue 5, 2014
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A novel network pharmacology approach to analyse traditional herbal formulae: the Liu-Wei-Di-Huang pill as a case study

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Abstract

Understanding the mechanisms of the pharmacological effects of herbal formulae from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is important for their appropriate application. However, this understanding has been impeded by the complex nature of herbal formulae. A herbal formula is a mixture of hundreds of chemical ingredients with multiple potential targets. The effects produced by an entire herbal formula cannot be adequately explained by considering separately each ingredient in it. This is a recognised problem that remains in need of methods to solve it. Here we introduce a holistic analysis method to decipher the molecular mechanisms of herbal formulae. This method combines chemical and therapeutic properties with network pharmacology, using a novel approach to evaluate the importance of the targets and ingredients of herbal formulae. We used the Liu-Wei-Di-Huang (LWDH) pill, a classic herbal formula, as an example to illustrate our method and validated some results by a following experiment. We revealed the core molecular targets and bioprocess network of the pharmacological effects of LWDH and inferred its therapeutic indications. This method provides a novel strategy to understand the mechanisms of herbal formulae in a holistic way and implies new applications of classic herbal formulae.

Graphical abstract: A novel network pharmacology approach to analyse traditional herbal formulae: the Liu-Wei-Di-Huang pill as a case study

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Publication details

The article was received on 14 Nov 2013, accepted on 19 Jan 2014 and first published on 20 Jan 2014


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3MB70507B
Citation: Mol. BioSyst., 2014,10, 1014-1022
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    A novel network pharmacology approach to analyse traditional herbal formulae: the Liu-Wei-Di-Huang pill as a case study

    X. Liang, H. Li and S. Li, Mol. BioSyst., 2014, 10, 1014
    DOI: 10.1039/C3MB70507B

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