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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:487158. doi: 10.1155/2013/487158. Epub 2013 Apr 4.

Metabonomics Combined with UPLC-MS Chemical Profile for Discovery of Antidepressant Ingredients of a Traditional Chinese Medicines Formula, Chaihu-Shu-Gan-San.

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Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100193, China.


This study proposed a new strategy for uncovering the active chemical constituents of a traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs) formula, Chaihu-Shu-Gan-San (CSGS). Metabonomics and chemical profile were integrated in combination with the multivariate statistical analysis (MVA) to discover the chemical constituents which contribute to the antidepressant effect of CSGS. Based upon the difference between CSGS and QZ (CSGS without Zhi-Qiao) extracts in the chemical profiles and the regulations of metabolic disturbances induced by CUMS, synephrine, naringin, hesperidin, and neohesperidin were recognized as the active constituents of CSGS from Zhi-qiao responsible for those missing regulations of CSGS when Zhi-Qiao was subtracted from the whole formula. They participated in the regulations of the deviated metabolites 2-4, 10-14, and 22-25, involved in metabolic pathways of ketone bodies synthesis, phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan biosynthesis, valine, aspartate, glutamate metabolism, and glycolysis/gluconeogenesis. Furthermore, the assay of MAO-A activity confirmed the potential antidepressant effect of naringin and its active sites on the MAO-A was inferred by molecular docking study. The integration of metabonomics and chemical profile was proved to be a useful strategy for uncovering what the active chemical constituents in TCM formula are and how they make contributions for the efficacy of the formula.

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