Yaobitong capsule (YBTC), a Chinese medicine compound preparation, has been demonstrated to affect multiple pathways associated with inflammation and exhibit potential anti-arthritis effect. In this study, an integrated omic approach based on UHPLC-Q-TOF MS and 16S rRNA sequencing analyses was proposed to reveal the anti-arthritis effect and possible mechanism of YBTC. The AIA rat model showed that YBTC significantly alleviated the typical symptoms of AIA rats such as weight, spleen index and pro-inflammatory cytokines. Fecal metabolomics results identified 41 differential metabolites, which mainly referred to tryptophan, bile acid and fatty acid metabolism. The gut microbiota played a crucially important role in anti-inflammatory immunity, 16S rRNA results indicated that YBTC changed the community structure and alleviated the microecological imbalance caused by rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Further ROC curve analysis demonstrated that it was reliable to identify RA by using 5 metabolites and 3 microorganisms (AUC > 0.83). In summary, it was the first time that the preventive effect of YBTC in RA was confirmed. The secretion of the microbiota-mediated metabolites was significantly improved by YBTC, through its callback effect on the disturbed gut microbiota. Thus, we have indicated a potential novel strategy for the prevention of RA via evaluation of intervention effects of YBTC on AIA rat model.
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