Cerebral atherosclerosis (CA) is a chronic disease caused by multiple infarcts and atrophy causing nerve degenerative syndrome. Ginkgo Folium (GF) and Forsythiae Fructus (FF) have shown positive effects on vascular protection, but their relationship with CA is unclear. This study aimed to identify the potential CA targets and mechanisms of action of GF-FF, using network pharmacology.
This study used network pharmacology and molecular docking to examine the potential targets and pharmacological mechanism of GF-FF on CA.
Using the traditional Chinese medicine systems pharmacology database and analysis platform, components were screened and corresponding targets were predicted using boundary values and Swiss Target Prediction. Using Cytoscape 3.8.0, a network was established between GF-FF components and CA targets. We extracted disease genes and constructed a network of targets based on the protein-protein interaction networks functional enrichment analysis database. Using Metascape, the Gene Ontology and the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes of the enriched targets were determined. AutoDock Vina was used to perform molecular docking.
Twenty-three active ingredients of GF-FF were confirmed to treat CA, covering 109 targets, of which 48 were CA-related. Luteolin, bicuculline, sesamin, kaempferol, quercetin, and ginkgolide B were the vital active compounds, and EGFR, CYP2E1, CREB1, CYP19A1, PTGS2, PPARG, PPARA, ESR1, MMP9, MAPK14, MAPK8, and PLG were the major targets. The molecular docking showed that these compounds and targets exhibited good intercalation. These 48 protein targets produced effects on CA by modulating pathways such as “apoptosis-multiple species,” “IL-17 signaling pathway,” and “relaxin signaling pathway.”
As predicted by network pharmacology, GF-FF exerts anti-tumor effects through multiple components and targets for treatment of CA, providing new clinical ideas for CA treatment.

Copyright © 2023 the Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.