Tan, Wang, Li, Hong, Feng, Hao, Mu, Zhang
Fructus schisandrae (Wuweizi in Chinese), a common traditional Chinese herbal medicine, has been used for centuries to treat chronic liver disease. The therapeutic efficacy of Wuweizi has also been validated in clinical practice. In this study, molecular docking and network analysis were carried out to explore the hepatoprotective mechanism of Wuweizi as an effective therapeutic approach to treat liver disease. Multiple active compounds of Wuweizi were docked with 44 protein targets related with viral hepatitis, fatty liver, liver fibrosis, cirrhosis, and liver cancer. A compound-target network was constructed through network pharmacology analysis, predicting the relationships of active ingredients to the targets. Our results demonstrated that schisantherin, schisandrin B, schisandrol B, kadsurin, Wuweizisu C, Gomisin A, Gomisin G, and angeloylgomisin may target with 21 intracellular proteins associated with liver diseases, especially with fatty liver disease. The CYP2E1, PPARα, and AMPK genes and their related pathway may play a pivotal role in the hepatoprotective effects of Wuweizi. The network pharmacology strategy used provides a forceful tool for searching the action mechanism of traditional herbal medicines and novel bioactive ingredients.