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Molecules 2018, 23(7), 1659; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23071659

Simultaneous Determination of the Traditional Herbal Formula Ukgansan and the In Vitro Antioxidant Activity of Ferulic Acid as an Active Compound

1
Clinical Medicine Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon 34054, Korea
2
College of Pharmacy, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Korea
3
Korean Medicine Life Science, University of Science & Technology, Daejeon 34113, Korea
4
Herbal Medicine Research Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon 34054, Korea
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 June 2018 / Revised: 5 July 2018 / Accepted: 5 July 2018 / Published: 7 July 2018
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Abstract

Ukgansan (UGS), a traditional herbal formula composing seven medicinal herbal plants, has been applied in Asian countries for treating neurosis, insomnia, and irritability. Here, the current study performed a simultaneous determination of the seven marker compounds (liquiritin apioside, liquiritin, ferulic acid, glycyrrhizin, decursin, decursinol angelate, and atractylenolide I) using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), to establish quality control of UGS. A 70% ethanol extract of UGS and a mixture of the seven compounds were separated using a C-18 analytical column on a gradient solvent system of 1.0% (v/v) aqueous acetic acid and acetonitrile. Data were recorded at a UV wavelength of 250 nm for glycyrrhizin; 276 nm for liquiritin apioside, liquiritin, and atractylenolide I; and 325 nm for ferulic acid, decursin, and decursinol angelate. The results exhibited high linearity (correlation coefficient (r2) ≥ 0.9998) and proper precision (0.38–3.36%), accuracy (95.12–105.12%), and recovery (95.99–104.94%) for the seven marker compounds. The amount of the seven marker compounds at the concentrations from 0.190 to 16.431 mg/g. In addition, the current study evaluated the antioxidant effects of UGS by measuring their scavenging activities against the 2,2′-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) and 2,2′-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radicals using in vitro cell-free systems and observed its antioxidant activity. Among the seven components of the UGS extract, ferulic acid dramatically enhanced the scavenging of ABTS and DPPH radicals compared with other compounds. The concentrations of ferulic acid required for a 50% reduction (RC50) in ABTS and DPPH radicals were 16.22 μM and 41.21 μM, respectively. Furthermore, UGS extract exerted the neuroprotective effect and blocked the inflammatory response in neuronal hippocampal cells and microglia, respectively. Overall, the established method of HPLC will be valuable for improving the quality control of UGS extract, and ferulic acid may be useful as a potential antioxidant agent. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ukgansan; simultaneous determination; antioxidant; ferulic acid; neuroprotection Ukgansan; simultaneous determination; antioxidant; ferulic acid; neuroprotection
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Kim, Y.J.; Jeong, S.-J.; Seo, C.-S.; Lim, H.-S.; Sohn, E.; Yun, J.; Kim, B.-Y. Simultaneous Determination of the Traditional Herbal Formula Ukgansan and the In Vitro Antioxidant Activity of Ferulic Acid as an Active Compound. Molecules 2018, 23, 1659.

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