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A Network Pharmacological Approach to Investigate the Mechanism of Action of Active Ingredients of Epimedii Herba and Their Potential Targets in Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease

Yajuan Li, Qin Yang, Yang Yu

Department of Histology and Embryology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Southwest Medical University, Luzhou, Sichuan, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2020; 26:e926295

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.926295

Available online: 2020-08-06

Published: 2020-09-27

BACKGROUND: Epimedii Herba is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine used to treat central nervous system diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease in China. However, the pharmacological mechanism is unclear. To investigate the mechanisms of Epimedii Herba in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, we assessed effective compounds, corresponding targets, and related pathways of Epimedii Herba in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease based on network pharmacology.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The active components and targets of Epimedii Herba were obtained through the TCMSP database and the DrugBank database. The DisGeNET database and GeneCards database were used to search for Alzheimer’s disease targets. The common targets of components and disease were obtained by Wayne diagram. Gene ontology (GO) analysis and enrichment analysis of the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) were performed using the DAVID database. The component-target-pathway interaction network model was constructed using Cytoscape software. Auto Duck Vina software was used for molecular docking to analyze the affinity of the key ingredients and the main targets.
RESULTS: We screened 17 active ingredients and 27 key targets of Epimedii Herba in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, which were related to the HIF-1 signaling pathway, TNF signaling pathway, PI3K-Akt signaling pathway, NF-kappaB signaling pathway, VEGF signaling pathway, and sphingolipid signaling pathway.
CONCLUSIONS: Based on network pharmacology, the multi-component, multi-target, and multi-pathway characteristics of Epimedii Herba in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease were explored. Our results provide new ideas for future pharmacological and experimental research on Epimedii Herba in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Keywords: Alzheimer Disease, Medicine, Chinese Traditional, Pharmacologic Actions