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Zuota is regarded as the king of Tibetan medicine. However, due to the confidentiality of this precious medicine, the scientific characterization of Zuota is very scarce, which limits the pharmacology and biosafety studies of Zuota. Herein, we collected four different Zuota samples from Tibet, Qinghai, Gansu, and Sichuan and characterized them by multiple techniques. Our results showed that Zuota was mainly an inorganic mixture of HgS, sulfur, and graphite. Morphologically, Zuota samples were composed of nanoparticles, which further aggregated into microsized particles. Chemically, the majorities of Zuota were S and Hg (in the forms of HgS and pure sulfur). All samples contained pure sulfur with orthorhombic crystalline. Zuota from Qinghai province had different HgS crystalline, namely, hexagonal crystalline. The others were all face-centered cubic crystalline. Carbon in Zuota NPs was in the form of graphite. The implication to future studies of Zuota was discussed.
This study is to develop an UPLC-PDA method for determination of 10 major components in Pterocephalus. The UPLC-PDA assay was performed on a Waters Acquity UPLCR BEH C₁₈（2.1 mm ×100 mm,1.7 μm）, and the column temperature was at 30 ℃. The mobile phase consists of water containing 0.2% phosphoric acid (A) and acetonitrile (B) in gradient elution at a flow rate of 0.4 mL•min⁻¹. The detection wave length was set at 237 and 325 nm, and the injection volume was 1 μL in the UPLC system. The linear range of 10 detected compounds were good (r≥0.999 7), and the overall recoveries ranged from 96.30% to 103.0%, with the RSD ranging from 0.72% to 2.9%. The method was simple, accurate and reproducible, which can be used for the simultaneous determination of the content of ten major components in P. hookeri.
In clinical practice at Tibetan area of China, Traditional Tibetan Medicine formula Wuwei-Ganlu-Yaoyu-Keli (WGYK) is commonly added in warm water of bath therapy to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, its mechanism of action is not well interpreted yet. In this paper, we first verify WGYK's anti-RA effect by an animal experiment. Then, based on gene expression data from microarray experiments, we apply approaches of network pharmacology to further reveal the mechanism of action for WGYK to treat RA by analyzing protein-protein interactions and pathways. This study may facilitate our understanding of anti-RA effect of WGYK from perspective of network pharmacology.