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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 915343, 8 pages
Research Article

A Network Pharmacology Approach to Evaluating the Efficacy of Chinese Medicine Using Genome-Wide Transcriptional Expression Data

1Pharmaceutical Informatics Institute, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
2Chiatai Qingchunbao Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Hangzhou 310023, China

Received 18 December 2012; Revised 13 February 2013; Accepted 17 February 2013

Academic Editor: Lixing Lao

Copyright © 2013 Leihong Wu 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.


The research of multicomponent drugs, such as in Chinese Medicine, on both mechanism dissection and drug discovery is challenging, especially the approaches to systematically evaluating the efficacy at a molecular level. Here, we presented a network pharmacology-based approach to evaluating the efficacy of multicomponent drugs by genome-wide transcriptional expression data and applied it to Shenmai injection (SHENMAI), a widely used Chinese Medicine composed of red ginseng (RG) and Radix Ophiopogonis (RO) in clinically treating myocardial ischemia (MI) diseases. The disease network, MI network in this case, was constructed by combining the protein-protein interactions (PPI) involved in the MI enriched pathways. The therapeutic efficacy of SHENMAI, RG, and RO was therefore evaluated by a network parameter, namely, network recovery index (NRI), which quantitatively evaluates the overall recovery rate in MI network. The NRI of SHENMAI, RG, and RO were 0.876, 0.494, and 0.269 respectively, which indicated SHENMAI exerts protective effects and the synergistic effect of RG and RO on treating myocardial ischemia disease. The successful application of SHENMAI implied that the proposed network pharmacology-based approach could help researchers to better evaluate a multicomponent drug on a systematic and molecular level.