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Simultaneous determination of ten alkaloids of crude and wine-processed Rhizoma Coptidis aqueous extracts in rat plasma by UHPLC-ESI-MS/MS and its application to a comparative pharmacokinetic study.

Journal of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis (2014-12-30)
Xiao-Cui Qian, Liang Zhang, Yi Tao, Ping Huang, Jun-Song Li, Chuan Chai, Wen Li, Liu-Qing Di, Bao-Chang Cai
ABSTRACT

Rhizoma coptidis (R.C.), a widely used traditional Chinese medicine, has been used for centuries in the treatment of hypertension, inflammation, dysentery and liver diseases, etc. Wine-processing is a specialized technology by sautéing crude herbal medicine using Chinese rice wine. This paper was designed to establish a simultaneous quantitative method of ten alkaloids (berberine, coptisine, palmatine, jatrorrhizine, epiberberine, magnoflorine, columbamine, noroxyhydrastinine, oxyberberine and 8-oxocoptisine) in rat plasma. Furthermore, the pharmacokinetics of those alkaloids after administration of crude and wine-processed R.C. aqueous extracts was compared. As a result, a ultra high-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-ESI-MS/MS) method was developed and validated for the first time. Chromatographic separation was achieved on a C18 column using gradient elution with the mobile phase consisting of acetonitrile and water (containing 0.2% formic acid) at a flow rate of 0.2 ml/min. The validated method showed good linearity over a wide concentration range (r>0.99), and lower limits of quantification less than 5.46 ng/ml for the each analyte. The intra- and inter-day assay variability was below 9.9% and 10.5% for all analytes, respectively. The extraction recovery of those alkaloids and I.S. ranged from 65.3% to 90.7%. The validated method has been successfully applied to pharmacokinetic comparison after administration of crude and wine-processed R.C. aqueous extracts. Pharmacokinetic comparative study showed that Cmax of coptisine and 8-oxocoptisine and AUC0-t of coptisine, palmatine and 8-oxocoptisine were increased significantly (p<0.05) after wine-processing, while other compounds didn't show significant difference, which suggested that wine-processing exerted limited effects on the absorption of alkaloids. These results might be helpful for R.C.' clinical reasonable application and further studies on its wine-processing mechanism.

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