Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research

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Network pharmacology and UPLC-Q-TOF/MS studies on the anti-arthritic mechanism of Pterocephalus hookeri

Ce Tang, Hai-Jiao Li, Gang Fan, Ting-Ting Kuang, Xian-Li Meng, Zhong-Mei Zou, Yi Zhang


Purpose: To investigate the mechanism underlying the anti-arthritic properties of Pterocephalus hookeri used for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Methods: Aqueous methanol extract of P. hookeri was analyzed using UPLC-Q-TOF/MS, a Waters Acquity UPLCR BEH C18 column (2.1 × 100 mm, 1.7 μm) and gradient elution with acetonitrile-formic acid-water. Targets and related pathways were predicted by PharmMapper database and Molecule Annotation System, respectively. The network was built with Cytoscape software.
Results: Forty compounds were identified, comprising 17 iridoid glycosides, 7 phenolic acids, 13 triterpenes, and 3 other compounds. A total of 38 targets and 44 pathways associated with RA were obtained. These involved mainly MAPK signaling pathway, adherens junction, and colorectal cancer.
Conclusion: These results from network pharmacology suggest that P. hookeri exerts therapeutic effect on RA via multiple components, multiple targets and multiple pathways.

Keywords: Pterocephalus hookeri, Rheumatoid arthritis, UPLC-Q-TOF/MS, Chemical composition, Network pharmacology
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