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    Radix Bupleuri-Radix Paeoniae Alba (RB-RPA) is a classic herb pair, which is commonly used to treat depression by soothing "liver qi stagnation" in the clinic. However, little is yet known concerning the combination mechanism of Radix Bupleuri (RB) and Radix Paeoniae Alba (RPA), their bioactive forms in vivo and the regulatory effects on the organism. The present study aimed to elucidate the changes in multi-component pharmacokinetics (PK) behavior after the combination of RB and RPA by a high-resolution full-scan mode of UPLC-HRMS method (a total of 38 components PK profiles were obtained, of which 23 components come from RB and 15 components come from RPA). Moreover, the metabolomics approach was used to analyze the dynamic response of endogenous metabolites intervened by RB-RPA, and the correlation between concentration-time curves of 38 components from RB-RPA and the dynamic response profiles of endogenous metabolites was characterized by Pearson correlation analysis. The results demonstrated that the combination of RB and RPA could significantly improve the bioavailability of five components in RB, and six components in RPA. Besides, metabolomics results indicated that a total of 21 endogenous metabolites exhibited time-dependent changes in response to the RB-RPA administration, of which 12 endogenous metabolites were significantly increased, and nine endogenous metabolites were significantly decreased. Furthermore, correlation analysis results indicated that the components with significantly improved bioavailability after combination such as saikogenin F, saikogenin G, albiflorin, methyl gallate, paeonimetabolin II were significantly positively correlated with picolinic acid, a metabolite with neuroprotective effect; saikogenin F, saikogenin G were significantly positively correlated with itaconic acid, a endogenous metabolite with anti-inflammatory activity; and albiflorin, paeonimetabolin II were significantly positively correlated with α-linolenic acid, a metabolite with strong protective actions on brain functions. These results indicated that the combination of RB and RPA can enhance each other's neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory activities. In this study, A novel and efficient strategy has been developed to analyze the influence of the combination of RB and RPA in vivo behaviors by combining multi-component pharmacokinetics with metabolomics, which was contributed to clarifying the scientific connotation of herb-herb compatibility. Copyright © 2021 Chen, Yin, Tian, Gao, Qin, Du and Zhou.


    Congcong Chen, Qicai Yin, Junshen Tian, Xiaoxia Gao, Xuemei Qin, Guanhua Du, Yuzhi Zhou. Studies on the Changes of Pharmacokinetics Behaviors of Phytochemicals and the Influence on Endogenous Metabolites After the Combination of Radix Bupleuri and Radix Paeoniae Alba Based on Multi-Component Pharmacokinetics and Metabolomics. Frontiers in pharmacology. 2021;12:630970

    PMID: 33762950

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