DOI: 10.1097/md.0000000000036238 ISSN: 0025-7974

Active ingredient and mechanistic analysis of traditional Chinese medicine formulas for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19: Insights from bioinformatics and in vitro experiments

Jiakai Yang, Qianqian Zhuang, Chi Zhang, Xinli Liu
  • General Medicine

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an acute infectious disease caused by a novel coronavirus. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been proven to have a potential curative effect on COVID-19. This study preliminarily analyzed the existing TCM prescription’s key components and action mechanisms for preventing and treating COVID-19 using bioinformatic and experimental methods. Association and clustering analysis reveals that the “HQ + FF + BZ” drug combination had a strong correlation and confidence in 93 TCM prescriptions and may affect the progression of COVID-19 through inflammatory pathways such as the TNF signaling pathway. Further molecular docking revealed that quercetin has a higher affinity for IL6 and IL10 in the TNF signaling pathway associated with COVID-19. In vitro experiments demonstrated that quercetin could effectively reduce the levels of the inflammatory factor IL-6 and increase the anti-inflammatory factor IL-10, alleviating inflammation impact on cells. Our results provide a new understanding of the molecular mechanism of TCM prevention and treatment of COVID-19, which is helpful to the development of new diagnosis and treatment schemes for COVID-19.

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