Simultaneous determination of four active alkaloids from a traditional Chinese medicine Corydalis saxicola Bunting. (Yanhuanglian) in plasma and urine samples by LC-MS-MS.J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2006 Feb 02; 831(1-2):140-6.JC
A sensitive rapid method for the simultaneous determination of four major active alkaloids (dehydrocavidine, coptisine, dehydroapocavidine, and tetradehydroscoulerine, in abbreviation thereafter called YHL-I, YHL-II, YHL-III, and YHL-IV, respectively) from a Chinese traditional medicine Corydalis saxicola Bunting. (Yanhuanglian) in rat plasma and urine was established and validated. The assay for these substances in plasma and urine was based on HPLC coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) detection using multiple reaction monitoring mode (MRM) with berberine and clenbuterol as internal standards. The plasma and urine sample were deproteinated by adding methanol prior to liquid chromatography where separation was performed on a Luna column (5 microm, 100 x 2.00 mm) and an Agilent Zorbax SB-C18 guard column (5 microm, 20 x 4 mm). The method was validated with the concentration range 1-1000 ng/mL in plasma and 10-1000 ng/mL in urine for the four test compounds, and the calibration curves were linear with correlation coefficients >0.999. The lowest limits of quantitation for all four substances were 1 ng/mL in 0.1 mL rat plasma and 10 ng/mL in 0.1 mL urine. The intra-assay accuracy and precision in plasma ranged from 88.1 to 115.7% and 1.4 to 10.8%, respectively, while inter-assay accuracy and precision for YHL-I, YHL-II, YHL-III, and YHL-IV ranged from 96.2 to 113.2% and 0.4 to 16.9%, respectively. The intra-assay accuracy and precision for YHL-I, YHL-II, YHL-III, and YHL-IV in rat urine ranged from 96.1 to 112.9% and 1.2 to 8.3%, respectively, while inter-assay accuracy and precision ranged from 95.0 to 106.8% and 2.2 to 10.3%, respectively. The method was further applied to assess pharmacokinetics and urine excretion of the four alkaloids after oral and intravenous administration to rats. Practical utility of this new LC-MS-MS method was confirmed in pilot pharmacokinetic studies in rats following both intravenous and oral administration.