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Open AccessArticle

Metabolite Profiling of Four Major Flavonoids of Herba Epimdii in Zebrafish

Key Laboratory of New Drug Delivery System of Chinese Materia Medica, Jiangsu Provincial Academy of Chinese Medicine, 100 Shizi Street, Nanjing 210028, China
State Key Laboratory of Natural Medicines and Department of Pharmacognosy, China Pharmaceutical University, 24 Tongjia Lane, Nanjing 210009, China
Lab of Clinical Pharmacology, Nanjing Medical University, Affiliated Nanjing First Hospital, 68 Changle Road, Nanjing 210006, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Molecules 2012, 17(1), 420-432;
Received: 8 October 2011 / Revised: 8 December 2011 / Accepted: 24 December 2011 / Published: 4 January 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products Chemistry)
The zebrafish model organism was applied first in a metabolic study of icariin, baohuoside I, epimedin A and epimedin C, which are flavonoids in Herba Epimedii. Metabolites of these compounds in zebrafish after exposure for 24 h were identified by HPLC-ESI-MS, whereby the separation was performed with a Zorbax C-18 column using a gradient elution of 0.05% formic acid acetonitrile-0.05% formic acid water. The quasi-molecular ions of compounds were detected in simultaneous negative and positive ionization modes. Metabolic products of icariin and epimedin C via cleavage of glucose residue instead of rhamnose residues were found, which coincided with the results using regular metabolic analysis methods. In addition, the zebrafish model was used to predict the metabolism of the trace component epimedin A, whose metabolic mechanisms haven’t been clearly elucidated with the current metabolism model. The metabolic pathway of epimedin A in zebrafish was similar to those of its homologue icariin and epimedin C. Our study demonstrated that the zebrafish model can successfully imitate the current models in elucidating metabolic pathways of model flavonoids, which has advantages of lower cost, far less amount of compound needed, easy set up and high performance. This novel model can also be applied in quickly predicting the metabolism of Chinese herb components, especially trace compounds. View Full-Text
Keywords: zebrafish; icariin; baohuoside I; epimedin A; epimedin C; Herba Epimedii; metabolism zebrafish; icariin; baohuoside I; epimedin A; epimedin C; Herba Epimedii; metabolism
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Wei, Y.; Li, P.; Fan, H.; Sun, E.; Wang, C.; Shu, L.; Liu, W.; Xue, X.; Qian, Q.; Jia, X. Metabolite Profiling of Four Major Flavonoids of Herba Epimdii in Zebrafish. Molecules 2012, 17, 420-432.

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