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Huangqi-Guizhi-Wuwu Decoction regulates differentiation of CD4+ T cell and prevents against experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis progression in mice

Xu, N;Han, X;Zhang, X;Wang, J;Yuan, J;Wang, M;Wu, H;Huang, F;Shi, H;Yang, L;Wu, X;

Background Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelination disorder caused by an overactive immune response. Its pathological characteristics include CNS inflammation, white matter demyelination, glial cell proliferation, and so on. Huangqi-Guizhi-Wuwu Decoction (HGWD), which is recorded in the Synopsis of the Golden Chamber, is used clinically for the therapy of MS, but its mechanism is still elusive. Purpose This study was aimed to investigate the impact of HGWD on the classical animal model for MS, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), and explore the underlying action mechanism. Results HGWD ameliorated the pathogenesis of EAE mice, and improved their neurobehavior and pathological tissue damage. Network pharmacology predictions revealed the action mechanism of HGWD in EAE mice might be related to its effect on the immune system of mice. HGWD effectively suppressed the inflammatory infiltration in CNS, while also preventing the elevation of CD4+T cells of mice with EAE. HGWD could increase the ratio of Treg cells, up-regulate the secretion of IL-10 and Foxp3 mRNA expression, inhibit the ratio of Th1 and Th17 cells, down-regulate IFN-? and IL-17 protein expression, as well as ROR?T and T-bet gene expression in EAE mice. In addition, HGWD-containing serum modulated Th1/Th17/Treg cell differentiation in vitro. Moreover, HGWD inhibited the p-JAK1, p-JAK2, p-STAT1, p-STAT3 and p-STAT4 proteins and elevated the p-STAT5 protein in lymphoid tissues of EAE mice. Conclusion HGWD improved the progress of EAE by regulating the proportion of CD4+T cell subtype differentiation, which might be exerted through JAK/STAT signaling pathway, providing a pharmacological basis for the clinical treatment of MS.