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Phytomedicine ; 101: 154100, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1796222


BACKGROUND: A number of studies have shown that gastrointestinal manifestations co-exist with respiratory symptoms in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. Xuanfei Baidu decoction (XFBD) was recommended by the National Health Commission to treat mild and moderate COVID-19 patients and proved to effectively alleviate intestinal symptoms. However, the exact mechanisms remain elusive. PURPOSE: This study aimed at exploring potential mechanisms of XFBD by utilizing a mouse model of dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced acute experimental colitis, mimicking the disease conditions of intestinal microecological disorders. METHODS: The network pharmacology approach was employed to identify the potential targets and pathways of XFBD on the intestinal disorders. Mice with DSS-induced intestinal disorders were utilized to evaluate the protective effect of XFBD in vivo, including body weight, disease activity index (DAI) score, colon length, spleen weight, and serum tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) level. Colon tissues were used to perform hematoxylin-eosin (H&E) staining, western blot analysis, and transcriptome sequencing. Macrophages, neutrophils and the proportions of T helper cell (Th) 1 and Th2 cells were measured by flow cytometry. Intestinal contents were collected for 16S rRNA gene sequencing. RESULTS: Network pharmacology analysis indicated that XFBD inhibited the progression of COVID-19-related intestinal diseases by repressing inflammation. In mice with DSS-induced intestinal inflammation, XFBD treatment significantly reduced weight loss, the spleen index, the disease activity index, TNF-α levels, and colonic tissue damage, and prevented colon shortening. Transcriptomics and flow cytometry results suggested that XFBD remodeled intestinal immunity by downregulating the Th1/Th2 ratio. Western blot analysis showed that XFBD exerted its anti-inflammatory effects by blocking the nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling pathway. Indicator analysis of microbiota showed that 75 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were affected after XFBD administration. Among them, Akkermansia, Muribaculaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and Enterorhabdus were simultaneously negatively correlated with intestinal disorders' parameters, and Bacteroides, Escherichia-Shigella, Eubacterium nodatum,Turicibacter, and Clostridium sensu stricto 1, showed positive correlations with intestinal disorders' parameters. CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicate that XFBD treatment attenuated intestinal disorders associated with inhibiting inflammation, remodeling of intestinal immunity, and improving intestinal flora. These findings provide a scientific basis for the clinical use of XFBD and offer a potential therapeutic approach for the treatment of COVID-19 patients with intestinal symptoms.

COVID-19 , Colitis, Ulcerative , Colitis , Drugs, Chinese Herbal , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , Colitis/chemically induced , Colitis, Ulcerative/chemically induced , Colitis, Ulcerative/drug therapy , Colitis, Ulcerative/pathology , Colon/pathology , Dextran Sulfate/adverse effects , Disease Models, Animal , Drugs, Chinese Herbal/therapeutic use , Humans , Inflammation/drug therapy , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , NF-kappa B/metabolism , RNA, Ribosomal, 16S , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism
FASEB J ; 35(9): e21870, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1373669


COVID-19 is often characterized by dysregulated inflammatory and immune responses. It has been shown that the Traditional Chinese Medicine formulation Qing-Fei-Pai-Du decoction (QFPDD) is effective in the treatment of the disease, especially for patients in the early stage. Our network pharmacology analyses indicated that many inflammation and immune-related molecules were the targets of the active components of QFPDD, which propelled us to examine the effects of the decoction on inflammation. We found in the present study that QFPDD effectively alleviated dextran sulfate sodium-induced intestinal inflammation in mice. It inhibited the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNFα, and promoted the expression of anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 by macrophagic cells. Further investigations found that QFPDD and one of its active components wogonoside markedly reduced LPS-stimulated phosphorylation of transcription factor ATF2, an important regulator of multiple cytokines expression. Our data revealed that both QFPDD and wogonoside decreased the half-life of ATF2 and promoted its proteasomal degradation. Of note, QFPDD and wogonoside down-regulated deubiquitinating enzyme USP14 along with inducing ATF2 degradation. Inhibition of USP14 with the small molecular inhibitor IU1 also led to the decrease of ATF2 in the cells, indicating that QFPDD and wogonoside may act through regulating USP14 to promote ATF2 degradation. To further assess the importance of ubiquitination in regulating ATF2, we generated mice that were intestinal-specific KLHL5 deficiency, a CUL3-interacting protein participating in substrate recognition of E3s. In these mice, QFPDD mitigated inflammatory reaction in the spleen, but not intestinal inflammation, suggesting CUL3-KLHL5 may function as an E3 for ATF2 degradation.

Activating Transcription Factor 2/metabolism , Down-Regulation/drug effects , Drugs, Chinese Herbal/pharmacology , Flavanones/pharmacology , Glucosides/pharmacology , Inflammation/drug therapy , Proteolysis/drug effects , Ubiquitin Thiolesterase/deficiency , Animals , Cell Line , Colitis/chemically induced , Colitis/drug therapy , Cullin Proteins/metabolism , Cytokines/metabolism , Dextran Sulfate/pharmacology , Dextran Sulfate/therapeutic use , Drugs, Chinese Herbal/therapeutic use , Flavanones/therapeutic use , Glucosides/therapeutic use , Inflammation/chemically induced , Macrophages/drug effects , Macrophages/metabolism , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Phosphorylation/drug effects , Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex/drug effects , Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex/metabolism , Pyrroles/pharmacology , Pyrrolidines/pharmacology , Ubiquitin Thiolesterase/antagonists & inhibitors , Ubiquitination