Danshen (DS), the dry root of Bge., has been used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for many years to promote blood circulation and to inhibit thrombosis. However, the active ingredients responsible for the anti-thrombotic effect and the underlying mechanisms are yet to be fully elucidated.
Molecular docking was used to predict the active ingredients in DS and their potential targets by calculating the scores of docking between DS ingredients and thrombosis-related proteins. Then, a chemical-induced zebrafish thrombosis model was applied to confirm their anti-thrombotic effects.
The molecular docking results indicated that compared to the control ligand, higher docking scores were observed for several compounds in DS, among which salvianolic acid B (SAB), lithospermic acid (LA), rosmarinic acid (MA), and luteolin-7-O-β-d-glucoside (LG) could attenuate zebrafish caudal vein thrombosis and recover the decrease in heart red blood cells (RBCs) in a dose-dependent manner.
Our study showed that it is possible to screen the potential active components in natural products by combining the molecular docking method and zebrafish in vivo model.