Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 35(12), 1317 (2019).

Development of UPLC-Q-TOF-MS Coupled with Cation-exchange Solid-phase Extraction Method for the Determination of Ten Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids in Herbal Medicines
Zhimin LUO, Xuan LI, Lu WANG, Chun CHANG, and Qiang FU
School of Pharmacy, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710061, China
Pyrrolizidine alkaloids are secondary metabolites of plants and can cause significant hepatotoxicity in humans. In this study, a fast and simple method was developed to determine ten pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) in six types of herbal medicines using ultra performance liquid chromatography–quadrupole–time of flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-Q-TOF-MS). An efficient solid-phase extraction procedure was carried out by using strong cation-exchange cartridges and the parameters were optimized. The established analytical method was validated and the results showed that the method presented satisfactory accuracy and precision. The established method was successfully applied for the determination of PAs in six herbal plants, including Senecionis Scandentis Hebra, Arnebiae Radix, Asteris Radix Et Rhizoma, Farfarae Flos, Senecionis Cannabifolii Herba and Emilia sonchifolia. PAs were found in all of these herbal plant samples. Eight types of related commercial herbal drugs were also detected, six of them were detected with different amounts of PAs. This work not only provided a powerful technical platform for both qualitative and quantitative analysis of PAs in herbal medicines, but also obtained information concerning PAs in these herbal samples, which could provide reference to the government regulatory authorities and non-governmental organizations.