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Molecules 2015, 20(6), 10065-10081;

Comparison of Fruits of Forsythia suspensa at Two Different Maturation Stages by NMR-Based Metabolomics

Institute of Molecular Science, Shanxi University, No.92, Wucheng Road, Taiyuan 030006, Shanxi, China
Modern Research Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanxi University, No.92, Wucheng Road, Taiyuan 030006, Shanxi, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Maria Halabalaki
Received: 10 March 2015 / Revised: 20 May 2015 / Accepted: 26 May 2015 / Published: 29 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Metabolomics within Natural Products Chemistry)
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Forsythiae Fructus (FF), the dried fruit of Forsythia suspensa, has been widely used as a heat-clearing and detoxifying herbal medicine in China. Green FF (GF) and ripe FF (RF) are fruits of Forsythia suspensa at different maturity stages collected about a month apart. FF undergoes a complex series of physical and biochemical changes during fruit ripening. However, the clinical uses of GF and RF have not been distinguished to date. In order to comprehensively compare the chemical compositions of GF and RF, NMR-based metabolomics coupled with HPLC and UV spectrophotometry methods were adopted in this study. Furthermore, the in vitro antioxidant and antibacterial activities of 50% methanol extracts of GF and RF were also evaluated. A total of 27 metabolites were identified based on NMR data, and eight of them were found to be different between the GF and RF groups. The GF group contained higher levels of forsythoside A, forsythoside C, cornoside, rutin, phillyrin and gallic acid and lower levels of rengyol and β-glucose compared with the RF group. The antioxidant activity of GF was higher than that of RF, but no significant difference was observed between the antibacterial activities of GF and RF. Given our results showing their distinct chemical compositions, we propose that NMR-based metabolic profiling can be used to discriminate between GF and RF. Differences in the chemical and biological activities of GF and RF, as well as their clinical efficacies in traditional Chinese medicine should be systematically investigated in future studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: NMR; metabolomics; maturation stage; Forsythia suspensa NMR; metabolomics; maturation stage; Forsythia suspensa

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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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Jia, J.; Zhang, F.; Li, Z.; Qin, X.; Zhang, L. Comparison of Fruits of Forsythia suspensa at Two Different Maturation Stages by NMR-Based Metabolomics. Molecules 2015, 20, 10065-10081.

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