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Open AccessArticle

UPLC-QTOF-MS Identification of the Chemical Constituents in Rat Plasma and Urine after Oral Administration of Rubia cordifolia L. Extract

1
Research Center of Chinese Herbal Resource Science and Engineering, Guangzhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510006, China
2
Key Laboratory of Chinese Medicinal Resources from Lingnan of Ministry of Education, Joint Laboratory of National Engineering Research Center for the Pharmaceutics of Traditional Chinese Medicines, Guangzhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510006, China
3
Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510006, China
4
Guangzhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510006, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Molecules 2017, 22(8), 1327; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22081327
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 4 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 August 2017 / Published: 11 August 2017
An effective ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with the quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC/Q-TOF/MS) method was developed for analysing the chemical constituents in rat plasma and urine after the oral administration of Rubia cordifolia L. extract. Under the optimized conditions, nine of 11 prototypes in rat plasma and four prototypes in urine were identified or characterized by comparing the retention time, accurate mass, fragmentation patterns, reference compounds, and literature data. In total, six metabolites, including alizarin-1-O-β-glucuronide, alizarin-2-O-β-glucuronide, alizarin-1-O-sulfation, alizarin-2-O-sulfation, purpurin-1-O-β-glucuronide, and purpurin-3-O-β-glucuronide, were identified in rat plasma, which were confirmed by lavaging standard solutions. Purpurin was found to be able to be transformed into alizarin based on the results in which alizarin was detected in rat plasma after the oral administration of a purpurin solution. In total, four metabolites were found in rat urine, but their chemical structures were not confirmed. The results indicate that the metabolic pathway of alizarin involves glucuronidation and sulfation, with the purpurins having undergone glucuronidation. The components absorbed into the blood, and the metabolites have the opportunity to become bioactive constituents. The experimental results would supply a helpful chemical basis for further research on the mechanism of actions of Rubia cordifolia L. View Full-Text
Keywords: Rubia cordifolia L.; UPLC/Q-TOF-MS; metabolites; alizarin; purpurin Rubia cordifolia L.; UPLC/Q-TOF-MS; metabolites; alizarin; purpurin
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Zheng, Z.; Li, S.; Zhong, Y.; Zhan, R.; Yan, Y.; Pan, H.; Yan, P. UPLC-QTOF-MS Identification of the Chemical Constituents in Rat Plasma and Urine after Oral Administration of Rubia cordifolia L. Extract. Molecules 2017, 22, 1327.

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