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Molecules 2014, 19(4), 4083-4104; doi:10.3390/molecules19044083
Article

Simultaneous Determination of Original, Degraded Ginsenosides and Aglycones by Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatography Coupled with Quadrupole Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry for Quantitative Evaluation of Du-Shen-Tang, the Decoction of Ginseng

1,2,†, 1,†, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1,*  and 3,*
1 Department of Pharmaceutical Analysis and Metabolomics, Jiangsu Province Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Jiangsu Branch of China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Nanjing 210028, China 2 College of Pharmacy, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing 210046, China 3 State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Macao, China These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 February 2014 / Revised: 21 March 2014 / Accepted: 24 March 2014 / Published: 2 April 2014
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Abstract

In the present study, an ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled with quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UHPLC-QTOF-MS) method for simultaneous determination of eleven original, fourteen degraded ginsenosides and five aglycones was developed and validated to quantitatively evaluate the transformation of ginsenosides during preparation of Du-Shen-Tang, the decoction of ginseng. Both positive and negative modes as well as the step wave ion transfer optics technology were used to increase the detection sensitivity of QTOF-MS. The extracting ion mode based on the quasi-molecular ions, molecular ions and fragment ions characteristic to each analyte was used to increase the selectivity for quantitative analysis. Under the optimized UHPLC and QTOF-MS conditions, the 30 analytes with different polarities were separated (except for Re and Rg1) within 26 min. The developed method was applied for the quantitative comparison of Du-Shen-Tang and its raw materials derived from Asian ginseng (ASG) and American ginseng (AMG), respectively. It was found that the contents of the original ginsenosides decreased from 26,053.09 to 19,393.29 μg/g or 45,027.72 to 41,865.39 μg/g, whereas the degraded ginsenosides and aglycones increased from 159.72 to 685.37 μg/g or 676.54 to 1,502.26 μg/g in Du-Shen-Tang samples of ASG or AMG when compared with their raw materials, indicating that decocting could dramatically increase the proportion of the less polar degraded ginsenosides in Du-Shen-Tang. Whether these changed proportions of different polar ginsenosides could affect the bioactivities of the decoctions and their raw materials derived from ASG and AMG deserves further investigation.
Keywords: UHPLC-QTOF-MS; ginseng; degraded ginsenosides; quantification; Du-Shen-Tang; decoction UHPLC-QTOF-MS; ginseng; degraded ginsenosides; quantification; Du-Shen-Tang; decoction
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Zhou, S.-S.; Xu, J.-D.; Zhu, H.; Shen, H.; Xu, J.; Mao, Q.; Li, S.-L.; Yan, R. Simultaneous Determination of Original, Degraded Ginsenosides and Aglycones by Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatography Coupled with Quadrupole Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry for Quantitative Evaluation of Du-Shen-Tang, the Decoction of Ginseng. Molecules 2014, 19, 4083-4104.

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