Screening for the anti-inflammation quality markers of Xiaojin Pills based on HPLC-MS/MS method, COX-2 inhibition test and protein interaction network

Sci Rep. 2018 May 10;8(1):7454. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-25582-7.


Nowadays, breast disorders seriously affect women's health in an increasing number. In China, Xiaojin Pills are commonly used in the treatment of breast diseases. Doctors have concluded that the combined use of Xiaojin Pills with conventional therapy can significantly improve the efficacy with fewer side effects. However, the prescription of Xiaojin Pills is complicated and their quality control methods cannot completely ensure the quality of Xiaojin Pills. On the basis of its mechanism, our study combined chemical evaluation and biological evaluation to identify the anti-inflammatory markers of Xiaojin Pills. In this manuscript, 13 compounds in Xiaojin Pills were quantified. At the same time, the cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition rates of different Xiaojin Pills were measured and the possible markers were screened by spectrum-effect relationship. Further, anti-inflammatory activities of markers were verified and protein interaction network was analyzed, identifying the components of Protocatechuate, Beta-Boswellic acid and Levistilide A as the anti-inflammatory quality markers of Xiaojin Pills. We hope our studies can provide a scientific theoretical basis for accurately quality control of Xiaojin Pills and reasonable suggestions for pharmaceutical companies and new ideas for the quality control of other medicines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Breast Diseases / drug therapy
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / metabolism
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / chemistry
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Interaction Maps / drug effects*
  • Quality Control
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Cyclooxygenase 2