Research Papers: Pathology:

NiaoDuQing granules relieve chronic kidney disease symptoms by decreasing renal fibrosis and anemia

Xu Wang _, Suyun Yu, Qi Jia, Lichuan Chen, Jinqiu Zhong, Yanhong Pan, Peiliang Shen, Yin Shen, Siliang Wang, Zhonghong Wei, Yuzhu Cao and Yin Lu

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:55920-55937. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.18473

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Xu Wang1, Suyun Yu1, Qi Jia1, Lichuan Chen1, Jinqiu Zhong1, Yanhong Pan1, Peiliang Shen1, Yin Shen1, Siliang Wang1, Zhonghong Wei1, Yuzhu Cao1 and Yin Lu1,2

1 Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Pharmacology and Safety Evaluation of Chinese Materia Medica, School of Pharmacy, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, P. R. China

2 Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Traditional Chinese Medicine Prevention and Treatment of Tumor, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, P. R. China

Correspondence to:

Yin Lu, email:

Keywords: chronic kidney disease, traditional Chinese medicine, systems pharmacology, fibrosis, anemia, Pathology Section

Received: September 09, 2016 Accepted: May 23, 2017 Published: June 14, 2017


NiaoDuQing (NDQ) granules, a traditional Chinese medicine, has been clinically used in China for over fourteen years to treat chronic kidney disease (CKD). To elucidate the mechanisms underlying the therapeutic benefits of NDQ, we designed an approach incorporating chemoinformatics, bioinformatics, network biology methods, and cellular and molecular biology experiments. A total of 182 active compounds were identified in NDQ granules, and 397 putative targets associated with different diseases were derived through ADME modelling and target prediction tools. Protein-protein interaction networks of CKD-related and putative NDQ targets were constructed, and 219 candidate targets were identified based on topological features. Pathway enrichment analysis showed that the candidate targets were mostly related to the TGF-β, the p38MAPK, and the erythropoietin (EPO) receptor signaling pathways, which are known contributors to renal fibrosis and/or renal anemia. A rat model of CKD was established to validate the drug-target mechanisms predicted by the systems pharmacology analysis. Experimental results confirmed that NDQ granules exerted therapeutic effects on CKD and its comorbidities, including renal anemia, mainly by modulating the TGF-β and EPO signaling pathways. Thus, the pharmacological actions of NDQ on CKD symptoms correlated well with in silico predictions.

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