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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 464969, 11 pages
Research Article

Urinary Metabolite Profiling Offers Potential for Differentiation of Liver-Kidney Yin Deficiency and Dampness-Heat Internal Smoldering Syndromes in Posthepatitis B Cirrhosis Patients

1E-Institute of Shanghai Municipal Education Committee, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
2Key Laboratory of Liver and Kidney Diseases, Ministry of Education, Institute of Liver Diseases, Shuguang Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
3University of Hawaii Cancer Center, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA
4Key Laboratory of Systems Biomedicine, Ministry of Education, Shanghai Center for Systems Biomedicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
5Center for Chinese Medical Therapy and Systems Biology, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
6Key Laboratory of Bioorganic Phosphorus Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Ministry of Education, Department of Chemistry, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100083, China
7School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100102, China

Received 23 June 2014; Accepted 29 July 2014

Academic Editor: Wei Jia

Copyright © 2015 Xiaoning Wang 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.


Zheng is the basic theory and essence of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in diagnosing diseases. However, there are no biological evidences to support TCM Zheng differentiation. In this study we elucidated the biological alteration of cirrhosis with TCM “Liver-Kidney Yin Deficiency (YX)” or “Dampness-Heat Internal Smoldering (SR)” Zheng and the potential of urine metabonomics in TCM Zheng differentiation. Differential metabolites contributing to the intergroup variation between healthy controls and liver cirrhosis patients were investigated, respectively, and mainly participated in energy metabolism, gut microbiota metabolism, oxidative stress, and bile acid metabolism. Three metabolites, aconitate, citrate, and 2-pentendioate, altered significantly in YX Zheng only, representing the abnormal energy metabolism. Contrarily, hippurate and 4-pyridinecarboxylate altered significantly in SR Zheng only, representing the abnormalities of gut microbiota metabolism. Moreover, there were significant differences between two TCM Zhengs in three metabolites, glycoursodeoxycholate, cortolone-3-glucuronide, and L-aspartyl-4-phosphate, among all differential metabolites. Metabonomic profiling, as a powerful approach, provides support to the understanding of biological mechanisms of TCM Zheng stratification. The altered urinary metabolites constitute a panel of reliable biological evidence for TCM Zheng differentiation in patients with posthepatitis B cirrhosis and may be used for the potential biomarkers of TCM Zheng stratification.