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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 245357, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/245357
Research Article

Bioinformatics Analysis for the Antirheumatic Effects of Huang-Lian-Jie-Du-Tang from a Network Perspective

1Department of Mathematics, Logistical Engineering University, Chongqing 401311, China
2Tibet Traditional Medical College, Lhasa 850000, China
3The National Medical College, Chengdu University of TCM, Chengdu 610075, China
4Department of Natural Medicinal Chemistry, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China

Received 16 July 2013; Accepted 11 September 2013

Academic Editor: Aiping Lv

Copyright © 2013 Haiyang Fang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Huang-Lian-Jie-Du-Tang (HLJDT) is a classic TCM formula to clear “heat” and “poison” that exhibits antirheumatic activity. Here we investigated the therapeutic mechanisms of HLJDT at protein network level using bioinformatics approach. It was found that HLJDT shares 5 target proteins with 3 types of anti-RA drugs, and several pathways in immune system and bone formation are significantly regulated by HLJDT’s components, suggesting the therapeutic effect of HLJDT on RA. By defining an antirheumatic effect score to quantitatively measure the therapeutic effect, we found that the score of each HLJDT’s component is very low, while the whole HLJDT achieves a much higher effect score, suggesting a synergistic effect of HLJDT achieved by its multiple components acting on multiple targets. At last, topological analysis on the RA-associated PPI network was conducted to illustrate key roles of HLJDT’s target proteins on this network. Integrating our findings with TCM theory suggests that HLJDT targets on hub nodes and main pathway in the Hot ZENG network, and thus it could be applied as adjuvant treatment for Hot-ZENG-related RA. This study may facilitate our understanding of antirheumatic effect of HLJDT and it may suggest new approach for the study of TCM pharmacology.