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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 4198035, 21 pages
Research Article

Systems Pharmacological Approach of Pulsatillae Radix on Treating Crohn’s Disease

Department of Pharmacology, School of Korean Medicine, Pusan National University, Yangsan, Gyeongnam 50612, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to Won G. An;

Received 20 January 2017; Revised 28 February 2017; Accepted 1 March 2017; Published 1 June 2017

Academic Editor: Jae Youl Cho

Copyright © 2017 Su Yeon Suh and Won G. An. 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.


In East Asian traditional medicine, Pulsatillae Radix (PR) is widely used to treat amoebic dysentery and renowned for its anti-inflammatory effects. This study aimed to confirm evidence regarding the potential therapeutic effect of PR on Crohn’s disease using a system network level based in silico approach. Study results showed that the compounds in PR are highly connected to Crohn’s disease related pathways, biological processes, and organs, and these findings were confirmed by compound-target network, target-pathway network, and gene ontology analysis. Most compounds in PR have been reported to possess anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and antioxidant effects, and we found that these compounds interact with multiple targets in a synergetic way. Furthermore, the mRNA expressions of genes targeted by PR are elevated significantly in immunity-related organ tissues, small intestine, and colon. Our results suggest that the anti-inflammatory and repair and immune system enhancing effects of PR might have therapeutic impact on Crohn’s disease.