Mechanisms of Fritillariae Thunbergii Flos in Lung Cancer Treatment from a Systems Pharmacology Perspective

Lung Cancer

J Ethnopharmacol. 2020 Aug 14:113245. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2020.113245. Online ahead of print.


ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Fritillariae Thunbergii Flos (FTF) included in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia (1977 Edition) is a Chinese medicinal herb traditionally used to treat bronchitis. In recent years, it has been applied in the treatment of lung cancer. However, the molecular mechanism remains largely unknown.

METHODS: The screening of bioactive compounds, acquisition of drug targets, network construction, and experimental validation in vivo were combined to explored the mechanism of FTF in the treatment of lung carcinoma with regards to systems pharmacology.

RESULTS: The network Lung Cancer Pathway consisted of 114 nodes (44 compounds and 70 potential targets) and 361 edges, as well as modules that included inflammatory response, angiogenesis, negative regulation of the apoptotic process, and positive regulation of cell proliferation and migration. It was examined by conducting experiments that involved the administration of ethanol-based extracts of FTF in Lewis lung carcinoma mice. The extracts exerted excellent anti-lung cancer effects in vivo by significantly inhibiting tumor proliferation, thereby extending the survival period of tumor-bearing mice. Moreover, FTF induced the downregulation of PIK3CG, Bcl-2, eNOS, VEGF, p-STAT3, and STAT3 genes in tumor-bearing mice.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings of the present study verify the therapeutic effects and mechanism of FTF on lung cancer and provide a theoretical basis to support the comprehensive utilization of FTF resources.