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Meixi Lu, Jiyuan Yin, Tianshu Xu, Xuan Dai, Tianyuan Liu, Yueyi Zhang, Shan Wang, Yage Liu, Hanfen Shi, Yanfei Zhang, Fangfang Mo, Vasily Sukhorukov, Alexander N Orekhov, Sihua Gao, Lili Wang, Dongwei Zhang

J Ethnopharmacol . 2023 Oct 1;319(Pt 2):117262. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2023.117262. Online ahead of print.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Fuling-Zexie (FZ) formula, a traditional Chinese herbal prescription composed of Poria cocos (Schwan.) Wolf. (Poria), Pueraria lobate (Willd.) Howe. (Puerariae Lobatae Radix), Alisma orientale (Sam.) Julep. (Alismatis Rhizoma), and Atractylodes lancea (Thunb.) Dc. (Atractylodis Rhizoma), has been clinically used to ameliorate hyperuricemia (HUA) and its associated renal injury.

Aim of study: This study aims to explore the action and mechanism of FZ on renal inflammation and dysfunction caused by HUA.

Materials and methods: FZ was orally administered to rapid HUA mouse induced by potassium oxonate (PO) and hypoxanthine (HX) for 7 days. Serum levels of uric acid (UA), creatinine (CRE), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), xanthine oxidase (XOD), adenosine deaminase (ADA), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), urine levels of UA, CRE and urinary albumin were determined by biochemical assays. Serum levels of interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6 were tested by ELISA. Hematoxylin-eosin and Masson staining were used to examine kidney and liver histopathological alterations. The expressions of renal glucose transporter 9 (GLUT9), ATP-binding cassette subfamily G member 2 (ABCG2), organic anion transporter 1 (OAT1), phospho-janus kinase 2 (p-JAK2), p-signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (p-STAT3), suppression of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3), NLR family pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3), apoptosis-associated speck-like protein (ASC), and cleaved-cysteinyl aspartate specific proteinase-1 (cleaved-Cas-1) were detected by western blots. The potential protein targets and pathways of FZ intervention on HUA were predicted by network pharmacology. The constituents in FZ aqueous extract were analyzed by UPLC-MS.

Results: FZ reduced serum UA, CRE, BUN, and urinary albumin and increased urine UA, CRE levels in HUA mice. In addition, the treatment with FZ to HUA mice inhibited the elevated serum levels of XOD and ADA, and regulated renal urate transports including OAT1, GLUT9 and ABCG2. FZ also attenuated kidney inflammation and fibrosis and downregulated the expressions of IL-1β, p-JAK2, p-STAT3, SOCS3, IL-6, NLRP3, ASC, and cleaved-Cas-1. Thirteen compounds were identified in the FG, including L-phenylalanine, D-tryptophan, 3'-hydroxypuerarin, Puerarin, 3'-Methoxy Puerarin, Daidzin, Pueroside A, formononetin-8-C- [xylosyl (1→6)]-glucoside, Ononin, Alisol I 23-acetate, 16-oxo-alisol A, Alisol C and Alisol A.

Conclusion: FZ inhibits serum UA generation and promotes urine UA excretion as well as attenuates kidney inflammation and fibrosis in HUA mouse with nephropathy. The underlying mechanism of its action may be associated with suppression of the JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway and NLRP3 inflammasome activation. This formula may offer a novel source for developing anti-HUA drugs.


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