Serum metabolomics strategy for understanding the therapeutic effects of Yin-Chen-Hao-Tang against Yanghuang syndrome†
Yin-Chen-Hao-Tang (YCHT), a classic Chinese herbal formula, is characterized by its strong therapeutic effects of liver regulation and relief of jaundice, especially Yanghuang syndrome (YHS). YHS is a type of jaundice with damp-heat pathogenesis, and it is considered a complicated Chinese medicine syndrome (CMS). The accurate mechanism for healing YHS has not yet been completely reported. The purpose of the current research is to investigate the expression of endogenous biomarkers in YHS mice and evaluate the clinical therapeutic effect of YCHT. Serum samples were analyzed using UPLC-Q/TOF-MS techniques in order to determine differential metabolites to elucidate the functional mechanism of YCHT on YHS through metabolite profiling combined with multivariate analysis. Simultaneously, the exact diversification of YHS mice was elucidated using blood biochemistry indexes and histopathological examination, and the results indicated that YHS is markedly improved by YCHT. Unsupervised principal component analysis (PCA) patterns were constructed to dissect the variances of metabolic profiling. Overall, 22 potential biomarkers were identified using a metabolomics approach based on an accurate MS/MS approach, clustering and distinguishing analysis. The present work demonstrates that the effectiveness of YCHT against YHS prompts distinct discrepancies in metabolic profiles by adjusting biomarkers and regulating metabolic disorders. A total of 15 metabolic pathways were involved in biological disturbance. This demonstrates that metabolomic techniques are powerful means to explore the pathogenesis of CMS and the therapeutic effects of traditional Chinese formulae.