Rheumatoid arthritis

Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with traditional chinese medicine.


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease that will affect quality of life and, working efficiency, and produce negative thoughts for patients. Current therapy of RA is treated with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Although most of these treatment methods are effective, most patients still have a pleasant experience either due to poor efficacy or side effects or both. Interleukin-6 receptor (IL6R) is important in the pathogenesis of RA. In this study, we would like to detect the potential candidates which inhibit IL6R against RA from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). We use TCM compounds from the TCM Database@Taiwan for virtually screening the potential IL6R inhibitors. The TCM candidate compound, calycosin, has potent binding affinity with IL6R protein. The molecular dynamics simulation was employed to validate the stability of interaction in the protein complex with calycosin. The analysis indicates that protein complex with calycosin is more stable. In addition, calycosin is known to be one of the components of Angelica sinensis, which has been indicated to have an important role in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Therefore, calycosin is a potential candidate as lead compounds for further study in drug development process with IL6R protein against rheumatoid arthritis.

Tongue diagnosis of traditional Chinese medicine for rheumatoid arthritis.


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, systemic autoimmune disease with unknown aetiology that causes the immune system to attack the joints (synoviums), leading to chronic inflammation. According to the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), RA falls into the category of Impediment disease (“Bi” syndrome), that is, poor circulation of qi and blood (stasis). Tongue diagnosis is an important method of TCM to detect blood stasis. In this study, 74 RA patients, meeting the pre-set criteria, were recruited via rheumatology outpatient clinic and examined by experienced rheumatology physicians. Two images-one of the tongue and the other, sublingual vessels-of the same patient were taken by a Canon digital camera in a darkroom with uniform lighting conditions. Relevant features of the tongue were extracted by utilising image processing techniques. Every tongue was classified into corresponding patterns based on the features identified. The subjects included 62 females and 12 males with an average age of 49.86 ± 13.81 years old, an average morbidity period of 4.56 ± 3.92 years, an average rheumatoid factor (RF) of 225.3 ± 373.8 IU/mL and an average erythrocyte sedimentation rate of (ESR) 40.9 ± 31.9 m/hr. According to our study, 86{} of the patients with RA have tongues with sublingual vessels with a width of more than 2.7 mm, a length of more than 3/5 from tongue tipto sublingual caruncle, or a count of sublingual vessels more than 2. Moreover, since RA index is highly correlated with blood stasis in TCM, a logistic regression is conducted to predict the probability of presence of RA using RF and ESR as explanatory variables. Also, the logistic regression analysis of RA with respect to the conventional tongue diagnosis criteria was performed. Based on the aforementioned studies, we concluded that tongue diagnosis is helpful in detecting blood stasis of RA.

Correlation between cold and hot pattern in traditional Chinese medicine and gene expression profiles in rheumatoid arthritis.


Clinical manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are diversified, and based on the manifestations, the patients with RA could be classified into different patterns under traditional Chinese medicine. These patterns decide the selection of herbal prescription, and thus they can help find a subset of rheumatoid arthritis patients for a type of therapy. In the present study, we combine genome-wide expression analysis with methods of systems biology to identify the functional gene networks for the sets of clinical symptoms that comprise the major information for pattern classification. Clinical manifestations in rheumatoid arthritis were clustered with factor analysis, and two factors (similar to cold and hot patterns in traditional Chinese medicine) were found. Microarray technology was used to reveal gene expression profiles in CD4(+) T cells from 21 rheumatoid arthritis patients. Protein-protein interaction information for these genes from databases and literature data was searched. The highly-connected regions were detected to infer significant complexes or pathways in this protein-protein interaction network. The significant pathways and function were extracted from these subnetworks using the Biological Network Gene Ontology tool. The genes significantly related to hot and cold patterns were identified by correlations analysis. MAPK signalling pathway, Wnt signaling pathway, and insulin signaling pathway were found to be related to hot pattern. Purine metabolism was related to both hot and cold patterns. Alanine, aspartate, and tyrosine metabolism were related to cold pattern, and histindine metabolism and lysine degradation were related to hot pattern. The results suggest that cold and hot patterns in traditional Chinese medicine were related to different pathways, and the network analysis might be used for identifying the pattern classification in other diseases.