Herbal Informatics Approach for Identification and Validation of Natural Compounds Targeting Gout

Research Article

Austin Arthritis. 2016; 1(2): 1008.

Herbal Informatics Approach for Identification and Validation of Natural Compounds Targeting Gouts

Tanwar A1,2, Chawla R², Ansari MM¹, Thakur P², Chakotiya AS², Dixit B¹, Arora R³, Sharma RK² and Khan HA¹*

¹Heavy Metal and Clinical Toxicology Laboratory, Department of Medical Elementology and Toxicology, Hamdard University, Hamdard Nagar, New Delhi, India

²Division of CBRN Defence, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, Delhi, India

³Office of DG (LS), Defence Research and Development Organisation, DRDO Bhawan, Delhi, India

*Corresponding author: Khan HA, Heavy Metal and Clinical Toxicology Laboratory, Department of Medical Elementology and Toxicology, Hamdard University, Hamdard Nagar, New Delhi, India

Received: May 25, 2016; Accepted: July 05, 2016; Published: July 07, 2016


Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that is caused by deposition of monosodium urate crystals in synovial fluid of joints and other soft tissues. However, the incidence rate of gout is higher in recent decades, it affects 1-2% of the population in western countries. Conventional treatments are not or less effective for patients with such inflammatory condition because of the propensity of these drugs to cause gastrointestinal adverse effects. The present study emphasized the herbal informatics tool for selecting the natural compound to attenuate the symptoms of inflammatory arthritis by inhibiting their disease factors, which includes classical literature surge model followed by the decision matrix and optimization scores to identify the potential leads for discovering its therapeutic potential. Herbals identified by the bioprospection study were validated by molecular docking analysis, which could further help in drug discovery programs to study chemical and biological methods. The purpose of this study is to identify an herbal lead, which could be used to inhibit the inflammatory pathway of gout at in vitro and in vivo animal models.

Keywords: Herbal informatics; Bioprospection; Gout; Arthritis; Ethnopharmacology; Molecular docking


Gout is a progressive inflammatory arthritis, affecting 1-2% of the population in western country in which Indian population contributes approximately 0.75%, where it is more common in men than the females had polyarticular gout [1]. It is characterized by a chronic hyperuricemia condition in which the serum urate levels above ≥ 400μmol/L, and also exceeded the level of physiological saturation threshold [2]. Interactions between Monosodium Urate (MSU) Crystals and cell types including mast cells, endothelial cells, neutrophils, macrophages and synovial fibroblasts are established with clinical manifestations of gout [3].

The one of the most painful form of inflammatory arthritis is acute gout that is characterized by the abrupt onset of severe joint pain, swelling, and erythema. Various risk factors are elevated the concentration serum urate persisting crystal deposition in the joints leading to irreversible joint damage. The inflammatory response is characterized by the initiation of the critical attack, leukocyte recruitment, enlargement and subsequent resolution. The balance between the monocytes and differentiated macrophages plays a key role in modulating the inflammatory response to MSU crystals [4].

There are numerous treatment strategies or allopathic medication such as first line drug (celecoxib), second line drug (glucocorticoid) and third line drug (colchine) for alleviation of the inflammatory pathways of gout, but they are poorly tolerated by the patient due to its long term toxicity like hepatic cell (hepatocytes) damage, gastrointestinal toxicity, and it has not been widely used due to a toxic effect on other organs [5]. Nowadays, Natural products are considered as excellent sources in the management of clinical disorders like aging, arthritis, diabetes. The renewed interest in natural therapeutic methods and the use of herbal therapy has led to a gradually growing interest in natural compounds and the classical methods of plant extract preparations [6]. It has been predicted that about 420,000 plant species exist on earth but only 10% i.e. around 35,000 plants have been explored for their medicinal usage [7]. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that medicines prepared from plant source endow with primary healthcare for approximately 3.5 to 4 billion people globally [8].

The present study emphasized the rationale to adopt the Insilicobioprospection model, in order to bio prospect, discover, analyze and authenticate the Herbal Medicine (HM) into Modern Herbal Medicine (MHM), which is based on its ethnopharmacological importance, as testified in ancient literature or otherwise in clinical literature of various countries. Utilizing an herbal informatics approach, leads identified by herbal informatics used for further validation by the molecular docking, which could be useful to discover the potential therapeutic moiety to study at in vitro and in vivo level.


Selection of bioactivity parameters using classical approach

Bioactivity parameters that are mainly responsible for the virulence/ disease factor of the inflammation were selected by Classical bioprospection approach that involves the understanding of the mechanistic aspects or pathophysiology of disorder as exemplified in (Table 1).