Abstract

The clinical notably success of immunotherapy fosters an enthusiasm in developing drugs by enhancing antitumor immunity in the tumor microenvironment (TME). Epimedium, is a promising herbal medicine for tumor immunotherapy due to the pharmacological actions in immunological function modulation and antitumor. Here, we developed a novel systems pharmacology strategy to explore the polypharmacology mechanism of Epimedium involving in targeting TME of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This strategy integrates the active compounds screening, target predicting, network pharmacology analysis and onco-immune interacting to predict the potential active compounds that trigger the antitumor immunity. Icaritin (ICT), a major active ingredient of Epimedium, was predicted to have good drug-like properties and target immune microenvironment in NSCLC via regulating multiple targets and pathways. Then, we evidenced that the ICT effectively inhibited tumor growth in LLC tumor-bearing mice and increases the infiltration of CD8+ T cells in TME. In addition, we demonstrated that ICT promotes infiltration of CD8+ T cells in TME by downregulating the immunosuppressive cytokine (TNF-α, IL10, IL6) and upregulating chemotaxis (CXCL9 and CXCL10). Overall, the systems pharmacology strategy offers an important paradigm to understand the mechanism of polypharmacology of natural products targeting TME.