A high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method has been developed for the simultaneous identification and quantification of active compounds (cryptotanshinone, dihydrotanshinone I, tanshinone IIA, tanshinone I, salvianolic acid A, salvianolic acid B, protocatechuic aldehyde, and rosmarinic acid) contained in traditional Chinese folk medicine Salvia przewalskii Maxim. The herb samples (including wild, cultivated, and yin pian) from fourteen main regions were investigated. Chromatographic separation was performed on an Agilent Eclipse XDB-C18 reserved-phase column (250 mm × 4.6 mm i.d., 5 μm) using gradient elution with water-formic acid (99.9: 0.1, v/v) and acetonitrile at a flow rate of 0.8 mL min−1, an operating temperature of 30 °C, and a wavelength of 275 nm. Similarity analysis (SA), principal component analysis (PCA), and hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) were used to analyze the data based on fingerprints. For fingerprint analysis, 27 peaks were selected as the common peaks to evaluate the similarities among different samples. The results of SA showed that the method permits to obtain desired linearity, precision, accuracy, and recovery. All samples were divided into three categories by PCA and HCA, and the concentration of the eight bioactive compounds varied significantly from different regions. It was demonstrated that chromatographic fingerprinting by HPLC combined with the simultaneous determination of eight bioactive compounds was a helpful method for the quality control of S. przewalskii.
Y.Gao, W.W.Gu, L.L.Chen, Z.H.Xu, and Y.P.Li, Biomaterials, 29, 4129–4136 (2008)