Authors:Narendra A. Gajbhiye, Jayanti Makasana, Tushar Dhanani, and Raju Saravanan
Aegle marmelos Correa (Bael tree) is a medicinal fruit tree, widely used for healing purposes in various systems of medicines. Coumarins and alkaloids present in various parts of bael tree including roots and fruit pulp are the primary active constituents implicated for its biological activities. An efficient liquid chromatography–electrospray ionization—tandem mass spectrometry (LC—ESI—MS/MS) method was developed for identification and simultaneous determination of four coumarin derivatives, namely, umbelliferone, psoralene, marmin, and imperatorin, and an alkaloid, skimmianine, in root and stem bark of A. marmelos. The chromatographic separation of analytes was performed on Altima C18 (50 × 4.6 mm, 3 μm) column using methanol and 0.1% acetic acid in water (54:46, v/v) as the mobile phase under isocratic conditions. The LC–MS/MS parameters were optimized in the positive ionization mode using electrospray ionization source. The quantification of the analytes was performed using multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) transitions, umbelliferone (m/z 163.1 → 107.1), psoralene (m/z 187.2 → 131.1), marmin (m/z 333.5 → 163.2), imperatorin (m/z 271.1 → 203.1), and skimmianine (m/z 260.1 → 227.0). The extraction method was standardized for optimum yield of coumarin derivatives and the alkaloid in different extraction solvents. Higher yield of the analytes was found in methanolic extracts in comparisons to petroleum ether, chloroform, ethyl acetate, ethanol, and water. The method was validated for linear range, intra- and inter-batch precision and accuracy. The distribution of coumarin derivatives and an alkaloid was found to vary significantly in different plant samples, and their concentration was much higher in roots as compared to stem bark.
Schizonepeta tenuifolia Briq. (ST) has been used as an aromatic exterior-releasing medicine in clinical practice for thousands of years in China. Previous researches have revealed both volatile oil (STVO) and aqueous extract (STAE) from ST showed significant pharmacological activities, such as anti-virus, anti-inflammation, anti-oxidation, and immunoregulation. However, the influence between each other was still unknown. The purpose of this study was to compare the pharmacokinetic profiles of three main flavonoids (luteoloside, apigetrin, and hesperidin) in STAE to illustrate the influence of STVO. A liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS) method was established to quantitatively analyze the three absorbed ingredients in the plasma of healthy rats. Biological samples were analyzed on an Agilent Eclipse Plus C18 column (3.0 mm × 150 mm, 3.5 μm) with gradient mobile phase (containing 0.2% formic acid and acetonitrile) at a flow rate of 0.8 mL/min. All the analytes and quercitrin (IS) were investigated with an electrospray ionization source (ESI) using multiple-reaction monitoring (MRM) in negative ionization mode. In addition, this quantitative method showed good linearities (r ≥ 0.9995) and the lower limits of quantification were 0.590–1.19 ng/mL. The intra- and inter-day precisions ranged 3.47–10.45% and 4.29–11.28% for the three analytes. The mean extraction recoveries were in the range of 77.41–109.79% and the average matrix effects were within 83.41–112.67%. The validated method has been fully applied to compare the pharmacokinetic parameters of the three flavonoid glycosides in rat plasma after oral administration of STAE and STAE+STVO. In comparison of luteoloside, apigetrin, and hesperidin in STAE group, it was found that different degree of increasing existed for the time to reach the maximum concentration (Tmax), elimination half-life time (T1/2), the area under the concentration curves (AUC0→t and AUC0→∞) and the maximum concentrations (Cmax) in STAE+STVO group. As can be seen from above results, STVO could improve the absorption and bioavailability of the three analytes. These findings would provide some active and strong basis of safe clinical application for ST and further exploitation for STVO from the perspective of drug–drug interaction.
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