Journal of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis

Development of a SPE-LC/MS/MS method for simultaneous quantification of baicalein, wogonin, oroxylin A and their glucuronides baicalin, wogonoside and oroxyloside in rats and its application to brain uptake and plasma pharmacokinetic studies.

PMID 24803030


This study aims to identify and quantify the six major bioactive flavones of the traditional Chinese medicine Scutellariae Radix (RS), including baicalein, baicalin, wogonin, wogonoside, oroxylin A and oroxyloside in rat after oral administration of a standardized RS extract. A novel, sensitive and selective method for simultaneous determination of these six analytes in rat brain and plasma using solid phase extraction-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (SPE-LC/MS/MS) was developed and fully validated. The lower limits of quantification (LLOQs) for the six RS flavones in brain tissue were 0.02nmol/g. The LLOQs in plasma were 0.005nmol/ml for B, W and OA, 0.025nmol/ml for WG and OAG, and 0.1875nmol/ml for BG. The current study provides novel evidence of the presence of all the tested RS flavones and an isoform of BG (BG', probably baicalein-6-O-glucuronide) in the rat brain after oral administration of RS extract, suggesting their ability to permeate through the blood-brain barrier. The method was also successfully applied to the pharmacokinetic study of all these analytes in plasma after oral administration of RS extract (300mg/kg) to Sprague-Dawley rats. The developed assay method provides a useful tool for both preclinical and clinical investigations on the disposition of RS flavones in brain and plasma.

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