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1Traditional Medicine Research  2019, Vol. 4 Issue (4): 195-204    DOI: 10.12032/TMR20190526121
Special Issue on Integrative Surgery     
Study on multi-target mechanism of Radix et Rhizoma Rhei (Dahuang) and Semen Persicae (Taoren) on adhesion intestinal obstruction based on network pharmacology
Yin-Zi Yue1, Li Zeng1, Xiao-Peng Wang2, Yang Zong2, Shuai Yan1,2,*()
1Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, China.
2Suzhou Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Suzhou, China.
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This study demonstrated that mechanism of Radix et Rhizoma Rhei (Dahuang) and Semen Persicae (Taoren) drug pair in the treatment of adhesion intestinal obstruction may be related to activate immune effect, decrease the expression levels of inflammatory cytokines, accelerate apoptosis of intestinal macrophages/T lymphocytes, and antagonize inflammatory reaction and tissue fibrosis to repair the intestinal mucosal barrier.


Radix et Rhizoma Rhei (Dahuang) (RERR) and Semen Persicae (Taoren) (SP) are the core drug pair commonly used in the treatment of adhesion intestinal obstruction. RERR and SP drug pair comes from the classical prescriptions of Chinese medicine including Didang soup and Taohe Chengqi decoction in Shanghanlun (an ancient book of Chinese medicine published in the 3rd Century A.D.) and Biejia Jian pills, Dahuang Shuchong pill, and Dahuang Mudan decoction in Jingui Yaolue (an ancient book of Chinese medicine published in the 3rd Century A.D.).


Objective: To explore the mechanism of action of Radix et Rhizoma Rhei (Dahuang) (RERR) and Semen Persicae (Taoren) (SP) on adhesive intestinal obstruction (AIO). Methods: The main targets of the active ingredients of RERR and SP were filtered based on the traditional Chinese medicine system pharmacology analysis platform. Cytoscape 3.2.1 was applied to build the ingredient-target network of RERR and SP for AIO. Results: Fifteen active components were predicted from the RERR and SP herb pair, such as aloe-emodin, catechin, rhein, gibberellin (GA) 119, GA120 and GA121. These components were applied to 59 targets mainly involved in many biological processes such as signal transduction, anti-apoptosis, and inflammatory response involved in activating the immune effect. Conclusion: This study proposes the system pharmacology method and identifies the potent combination therapeutic mechanism of RERR and SP for AIO. This strategy will provide a new insight to the study of herb combinations.

Key wordsRadix et Rhizoma Rhei (Dahuang)      Semen Persicae (Taoren)      Adhesive intestinal obstruction      Network pharmacology     
Published: 05 July 2019
Fund:  This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation Youth Project (81804098) and Jiangsu Natural Science Foundation Youth Project (BK20180219).
Corresponding Authors: Shuai Yan   
Cite this article:

Yin-Zi Yue, Li Zeng, Xiao-Peng Wang, Yang Zong, Shuai Yan. Study on multi-target mechanism of Radix et Rhizoma Rhei (Dahuang) and Semen Persicae (Taoren) on adhesion intestinal obstruction based on network pharmacology. 1Traditional Medicine Research, 2019, 4(4): 195-204. doi: 10.12032/TMR20190526121


Table 1 Basic information of 15 active compounds in RERR and SP
RERR, Radix et Rhizoma Rhei (Dahuang); SP, Semen Persicae (Taoren); OB, Oral bioavailability; DL,Drug-likeness; MW, Molecular weight; GA, Gibberellin.
Figure 1 RERR-SP compound-target network
RERR, Radix et Rhizoma Rhei (Dahuang); SP, Semen Persicae (Taoren); The green node represents thecompound molecule of SP, the blue node represents the compound molecule of RERR, and the red node represents the drug target. Each edge represents the interaction between the compound molecule and target.
Figure 2 Core network diagram of protein interaction between RERR-SP and AIO
AIO, Adhesive intestinal obstruction; RERR, Radix et Rhizoma Rhei; SP, Semen Persicae.
Figure 3 GO enrichment analysis of targets in biological processes
Figure 4 GO enrichment analysis of cell compositions
Figure 5 GO enrichment analysis of molecular function
Figure 6 Top 30 pathway by KEGG enrichment analysis of RERR and SP for AIO
RERR, Radix et Rhizoma Rhei (Dahuang); SP, Semen Persicae (Taoren); KEGG, Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes; AIO, Adhesive intestinal obstruction.
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