Metabolomics analysis of Semen Cuscutae protection of kidney deficient model rats using ultra high-performance liquid chromatography-quadrupole time-of-flight Mass Spectrometry

J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2022 Jan 5;207:114432. doi: 10.1016/j.jpba.2021.114432. Epub 2021 Oct 20.


The traditional Chinese medicine syndrome "Kidney yang deficiency" is a kind of chronic kidney disease. With the development of society, the incidence of chronic kidney disease is increasing year by year, which also brings great economic pressure to people. Semen Cuscutae is an important traditional Chinese medicine to tonify liver and kidney, mainly used to tonify deficiency of liver and kidney, spleen and kidney deficiency and diarrhea. Although there are a lot of research at the molecular and cellular level to study the Semen Cuscutae on the treatment of Kidney yang deficiency syndrome, but there's no comprehensive research complete with metabolomics method from plasma, feces and urine metabolites aspects. The purpose of this study is to find the potential differential biomarkers of the Kidney yang deficiency model and blank group rats in plasma, urine and feces, and to investigate the mechanism of Semen Cuscutae in the treatment of Kidney yang deficiency syndrome. In this study, ultra high-performance liquid chromatography-quadrupole time-of-flight Mass Spectrometry (UPLC-QTOF/MS) was used to identify potential biomarkers. Through the analysis of metabolic profiles of plasma, urine, and feces, as well as multivariate statistical analysis and pathway analysis, the therapeutic mechanism of Semen Cuscutae for Kidney yang deficiency syndrome was described. The results showed that there were 69 differential metabolites in plasma, 93 differential metabolites in feces and 62 differential metabolites in urine, and the changes of the levels of these biomarkers showed that Semen Cuscutae had a good therapeutic effect on Kidney yang deficiency syndrome. Through the analysis of the channel, the metabolite changes mainly affected the steroid hormone biosynthesis, arachidonic acid metabolism, primary bile acid biosynthesis, sheath lipid metabolism and biosynthesis of tyrosine, phenylalanine metabolism, retinol metabolism,taurine and hypotaurine metabolism, lysine degradation and vitamin B6 metabolism, tryptophan metabolism, terpenoid backbone biosynthesis and starch and sucrose metabolism. Therefore, the results suggested that Semen Cuscutae could exert a good therapeutic effect by reversing the levels of some biomarkers.

Keywords: Kidney yang deficiency syndrome; Metabolomics; Semen Cuscutae; UPLC-QTOF/MS.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Kidney
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Metabolomics*
  • Rats
  • Semen*