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PLoS One. 2012;7(4):e34157. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0034157. Epub 2012 Apr 6.

Metabonomic profiles delineate the effect of traditional Chinese medicine sini decoction on myocardial infarction in rats.

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  • 1School of Pharmacy, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China.



In spite of great advances in target-oriented Western medicine for treating myocardial infarction (MI), it is still a leading cause of death in a worldwide epidemic. In contrast to Western medicine, Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) uses a holistic and synergistic approach to restore the balance of Yin-Yang of body energy so the body's normal function can be restored. Sini decoction (SND) is a well-known formula of TCM which has been used to treat MI for many years. However, its holistic activity evaluation and mechanistic understanding are still lacking due to its complex components.


A urinary metabonomic method based on nuclear magnetic resonance and ultra high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry was developed to characterize MI-related metabolic profiles and delineate the effect of SND on MI. With Elastic Net for classification and selection of biomarkers, nineteen potential biomarkers in rat urine were screened out, primarily related to myocardial energy metabolism, including the glycolysis, citrate cycle, amino acid metabolism, purine metabolism and pyrimidine metabolism. With the altered metabolism pathways as possible drug targets, we systematically analyze the therapeutic effect of SND, which demonstrated that SND administration could provide satisfactory effect on MI through partially regulating the perturbed myocardial energy metabolism.


Our results showed that metabonomic approach offers a useful tool to identify MI-related biomarkers and provides a new methodological cue for systematically dissecting the underlying efficacies and mechanisms of TCM in treating MI.

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