The Chinese herb Suan Zao Ren aids sleep in Parkinson’s Disease

This study is aimed at exploring the possible mechanism of action of the Suan Zao Ren decoction in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease with sleep disorder based on network pharmacology and molecular docking. Traditional Chinese Medicine Systems Pharmacology (TCMSP) was used to screen the bioactive components and targets of SZRD, and their targets were standardized using the UniProt platform.

The disease targets of “Parkinson’s disease” and “Sleep disorder” were collected by OMIM, GeneCards, and DisGeNET databases. Thereafter, the protein-protein interaction (PPI) network was constructed using the STRING platform and visualized by Cytoscape (3.7.2) software. Then, the DAVID platform was used to analyze the Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment analysis and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway.

Cytoscape (3.7.2) software was also used to construct the network of the “herb-component-target-pathway.” The core active ingredients and core action targets of the drug were verified by molecular docking using AutoDock software. A total of 135 Chinese herbal components and 41 corresponding targets were predicted for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease with sleep disorder using Suan Zao Ren.

Fifteen important signaling pathways were screened, such as the cancer pathway, TNF signaling pathway, PI3K-AKT signaling pathway, HIF-1 signaling pathway, and Toll-like receptor signaling pathway. The results of molecular docking showed that the main active compounds could bind to the representative targets and exhibit good affinity.

This study revealed that Suan Zao Ren has the characteristics and advantages of “multicomponent, multitarget, and multipathway” in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease with sleep disorder; among these, the combination of the main active components of quercetin and kaempferol with the key targets of AKT1IL6MAPK1TP53, and VEGFA may be one of the important mechanisms. This study provides a theoretical basis for further study of the material basis and molecular mechanism of Suan Zao Ren in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease with sleep disorder.


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About Attilio

Doctor of Chinese medicine, acupuncture expert and author of My Fertility Guide and My Pregnancy Guide.

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