Journal of Chinese Pharmaceutical Sciences ›› 2015, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (6): 364-375.DOI: 10.5246/jcps.2015.06.047

• Original articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Rapid determination of eight aristolochic acid analogues in five Aristolochiaceae plants by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography quadrupole/time-of-flight mass spectrometry

Deqiang Kong1, Huiyuan Gao1, Xin Li2, Jincai Lu1, Dan Yuan1*   

  1. 1. School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, Shenyang 110016, China
    2. School of Medical Devices Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, Shenyang 110016, China
  • Received:2014-11-03 Revised:2015-02-07 Online:2015-06-26 Published:2015-03-02
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  • Supported by:
    The National Science and Technology Support Program during the Twelfth Five-Year Plan of China (Grant No. 2011BAI03B05), the Distinguished Professor Foundation of Liaoning Province of China of 2011 and Innovative Drug Incubation Base Plan Project from Liaoning Province of China of 2013 (Grant No. 2013226027).


Aristolochic acids (AAs) and aristololactams (ALs) are commonly found in some Aristolochiaceae plants, and they have been reported to be AA nephropathy (AAN), nephrotoxicity and carcinogenicity. In the present study, we established an ultra high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) coupled with quadrupole/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (Q/TOF-MS) method for the rapid analysis of eight AA analogues in 19 samples originated from the five Aristolochiaceae plants, the roots and rhizomes of Asarum sieboldii Miq. var. seoulense Nakai, the fruits of Aristolochia contorta Bunge or A. debilis Sieb. et Zucc., the roots of Aristolochia debilisSieb. et Zucc., the stems of Aristolochia manshuriensis Kom., and the roots of Aristolochia fangchi Y. C. Wu ex L. D. Chou et S. M. Hwang. A total of five AAs and three ALs were identified by co-chromatography of sample extract and comparing the retention time, UV spectra, and characteristic molecular ions and fragment ions with those of authentic standards, or tentatively identified by MS/MS determination along with Mass Fragment software. Moreover, the method was validated for the simultaneous quantification or semi-quantification of them. The samples significantly differed in the quality and quantity of AA analogues, which allowed the possibility of showing their chemical distinctness, and it might be helpful in their standardization and quality control. Furthermore, in order to holistically compare the difference between the five Aristolochiaceaeplants, dataset obtained from UHPLC-Q/TOF-MS was processed with principal component analysis (PCA) and orthogonal partial least squared discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA).

Key words: Aristolochic acids, Aristololactams, Aristolochiaceae, UHPLC-Q/TOF-MS, Quantification, Multivariate statistical analysis

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