Authors:Qinghua Weng, Lianguo Chen, Luxin Ye, Xiaojie Lu, Zheng Yu, Congcong Wen, Yichuan Chen, and Gang Huang
The aim of this study was to establish a rapid, sensitive, and selective ultra-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC–MS/MS) method to quantify the concentrations of licochalcone A and applicate the technique to its pharmacokinetic study. Analytes were separated on an UPLC ethylene bridged hybrid (BEH) C18 column (2.1 mm × 50 mm, 1.7 μm). The mobile phase was consisted of acetontrile and 0.1% formic acid with a flow rate of 0.4 mL/min in a gradient elution mode. Multiple-reaction monitoring (MRM) was carried out in a negative mode for licochalcone A (m/z 337.2 → 119.7) and the internal standard (IS) (m/z 609.0 → 300.9). The linearity of licochalcone A was great from 0.53 to 530 ng/mL. The lower limit of quantification and the lower limit of detection were 0.53 ng/mL and 0.26 ng/mL, respectively. The intra-day precision was less than 14%, and the inter-day precision was no more than 11%. The accuracy was from 91.5% to 113.9%, the recovery was over 90.5%, and the matrix effect was between 84.5% and 89.7%. The results of stability were in an acceptable range. The bioavailability was only 3.3%, exhibiting poor absorption. The developed method was successfully applicable for determining the concentrations of licochalcone A and its pharmacokinetic study.