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Xiaoyaosan decoction alleviated rat liver fibrosis via the TGFß/Smad and Akt/FoxO3 signaling pathways based on network pharmacology analysis.

Zhou, Yuan; Wu, Rong; Cai, Fei-Fei; Zhou, Wen-Jun; Lu, Yi-Yu; Zhang, Hui; Chen, Qi-Long; Su, Shi-Bing.
J Ethnopharmacol; 264: 113021, 2021 Jan 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32479885
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE Liver fibrosis is an outcome of many chronic liver diseases and often results in cirrhosis, liver failure, and even hepatocarcinoma. Xiaoyaosan decoction (XYS) as a classical Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) formula is used to liver fibrosis in clinical practice while its mechanism is unclear. AIM OF THE STUDY The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-fibrosis effect of XYS and to explore the molecular mechanisms by combining network pharmacology and transcriptomic technologies. MATERIALS AND


The carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced liver fibrosis rat were treated with three doses of XYS. The liver fibrosis and function were evaluated by histopathological examination and serum biochemical detection. The fibrosis related protein a-SMA and collagen I were assessed by Western blot. Different expressed genes (DEGs) between XYS-treated group and model group were analyzed. The herb-component-target network was constructed combined the network pharmacology. The predict targets and pathways were validated by in vitro and in vivo experiments.


With XYS treatment, the liver function was significantly improved, and fibrotic changes were alleviated. The a-SMA and collagen I expression levels in the liver were also decreased in XYS-treated rats compared with CCl4 model rats. 108 active components and 42 targets from 8 herbs constituted herb-compound-target network by transcriptomics and network pharmacology analysis. The KEGG pathway and GO enrichment analyses showed that the FoxO, TGFß, AMPK, MAPK, PPAR, and hepatitis B and C pathways were involved in the anti-fibrosis effects of XYS. In the liver tissues, p-FoxO3a and p-Akt expression levels were significantly increased in the CCl4 model group but decreased in the XYS-treated group. The TGFß1/Smad pathway and Akt/FoxO3 pathway were verified in LX2 cells by inhibiting phosphorylation of Smad3 and Akt activity, respectively.


Our findings suggested that XYS markedly alleviated CCl4-induced liver fibrosis in histopathological and serum liver function analyses, and this effect may occur via the TGFß1/Smad and Akt/FoxO signaling pathways.
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