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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2017, Article ID 3709874, 10 pages
Research Article

Elucidation of the Anti-Inflammatory Mechanisms of Bupleuri and Scutellariae Radix Using System Pharmacological Analyses

1College of Pharmacy, Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine, Xi’an, Shaanxi, China
2Bioinformatics Center, College of Life Science, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Gang Zhang; moc.nuyila@3002gnilmug_yaj

Received 20 October 2016; Revised 13 December 2016; Accepted 22 December 2016; Published 16 January 2017

Academic Editor: Yunzhou Dong

Copyright © 2017 Xia Shen 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.


Objective. This study was aimed at elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying the anti-inflammatory effect of the combined application of Bupleuri Radix and Scutellariae Radix and explored the potential therapeutic efficacy of these two drugs on inflammation-related diseases. Methods. After searching the databases, we collected the active ingredients of Bupleuri Radix and Scutellariae Radix and calculated their oral bioavailability (OB) and drug-likeness (DL) based on the absorption-distribution-metabolism-elimination (ADME) model. In addition, we predicted the drug targets of the selected active components based on weighted ensemble similarity (WES) and used them to construct a drug-target network. Gene ontology (GO) analysis and KEGG mapper tools were performed on these predicted target genes. Results. We obtained 30 compounds from Bupleuri Radix and Scutellariae Radix of good quality as indicated by ADME assays, which possess potential pharmacological activity. These 30 ingredients have a total of 121 potential target genes, which are involved in 24 biological processes related to inflammation. Conclusions. Combined application of Bupleuri Radix and Scutellariae Radix was found not only to directly inhibit the synthesis and release of inflammatory cytokines, but also to have potential therapeutic effects against inflammation-induced pain. In addition, a combination therapy of these two drugs exhibited systemic treatment efficacy and provided a theoretical basis for the development of drugs against inflammatory diseases.