Spatholobi Caulis (SC), the vine stem of Spatholobus suberectus
Dunn, is a widely used traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for the treatment of blood stasis syndrome and related diseases. Xylem and phloem are the main structures of SC and the color of xylem in SC is red brown or brown while the phloem with resin secretions is reddish brown to dark brown. They are alternately arranged in a plurality of concentric or eccentric rings. In order to investigate the distribution patterns of metabolites in xylem and phloem of SC, an analytical method based on UFLC–QTRAP–MS/MS was established for simultaneous determination of 22 constituents including four flavanols, nine isoflavones, two flavonols, two dihydroflavones, one flavanonol, one chalcone, one pterocarpan, one anthocyanidin and one phenolic acid in the samples (xylem and phloem) from Laos. Furthermore, according to the contents of 22 constituents, heat map, principal components analysis (PCA), orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis (OPLS–DA) and t–test were used to evaluate the samples and discover the differences between xylem and phloem of SC. The results indicated that the measured ingredients in xylem and phloem were significantly different. To be specific, the contents of flavonoids in xylem were higher than that in phloem, while the content of protocatechuic acid showed a contrary tendency. This study will not only reveal the distribution patterns of metabolites in xylem and phloem of SC but also facilitate further study on their quality formation.
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