Metabolomics study of the therapeutic mechanism of a Chinese herbal formula on collagen-induced arthritis mice†
Wenjinghuoluo (WJHL) prescription, the typical rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treatment compound in traditional Chinese medicine, shows favorable efficacy. The precise mechanism of WJHL on RA therapy is yet to be elucidated. This study aimed to determine the metabolic biomarkers in the early onset of RA and evaluate the regulation effect of WJHL on metabolite levels. Multivariate statistical analysis identified 93 biomarkers by precise MS/MS. These biomarkers played an important role in the regulation of key metabolic pathways associated with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). A total of 68 biomarkers were related to the treatment of CIA by WJHL therapy. In addition, pathway analysis results showed six and three significant related pathways according to corresponding differential metabolites before and after WJHL therapy. Finally, disease and function prediction of ingenuity pathway analysis indicated that lipid metabolism, small molecule biochemistry, and carbohydrate metabolism were associated functions of WJHL therapy on CIA. Furthermore, top analysis-ready molecules of up-regulated thiamine and down-regulated arachidonic acid maybe the most related metabolites of WJHL therapy on CIA. The present work indicates that a metabolomics platform provides a new insight into understanding the mechanisms of action of natural medicines, such as WJHL.