[Chinmedomics: a new strategy for research of traditional Chinese medicine].Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi 2015; 40(4):569-76ZZ
Syndrome and formulae (or prescription) are two key issues in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and the premise research for material basis of TCM. However, vagueness of syndromes and complexity of formulae greatly limited the evaluation to syndromes and effective substance basis of prescription. Therefore, how to solve the evaluation of syndromes, confirming the efficacy material basis in prescription are the current hot issues of international concern. To solve these problems, establishing chinmedomics by integrated serum pharmacochemistry of TCM with metabolomics technology, that is a unique method of TCM research, made outstanding contributions in solving international concerns such as the effectiveness and security aspects of TCM. On the basis of the biological characterization of syndrome, the metabolic profiling of animal models of TCM syndrome, and related metabolic fingerprints as well as metabolic biomarkers were established to evaluate the overall effects of TCM formulae and corresponding relationship of syndrome-formulae. The active constituents were screened using the plotting of correlation between (endogenous) marker metabolites and (exogenous) serum constituents (PCMS), and is ongoing verification by further biological experiments. Correlation analysis between the ingredients in the body after oral formulae and endogenous markers in vivo can be used to clarify the active ingredients and synergistic properties. This method was successfully applied for rapid discovery of potentially bioactive components and metabolites from TCM, and through a series of studies on the chinmedomics, it proved that the established method could help to explore the effective substance for further research of TCM. As a new research approach, Chinmedomics is the best method to fit the holistic concept of TCM, and it can not only interpret the essence of syndrome but also elucidate the scientific connotation of Chinese medical formulae.