Characterization of compounds in the Chinese herbal drug Mu-Dan-Pi by liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization mass spectrometry.Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2006; 20(22):3275-88.RC
Cortex Moutan is a well-known traditional Chinese medicine derived from Paeonia suffruticosa ANDREWS. However, root cortices of P. delavayi and P. decomposita also are used under the name of this drug in some regions such as Yunnan and Sichuan Provinces, respectively. In order to make a comparison of their chemical constituents, the compounds of the three Paeonia species were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography-diode array detection/electrospray ionization and quadrupole-time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-DAD/ESI-MS2). A total of 50 compounds were observed in the 50% (v/v) methanolic extracts, including 17 monoterpenes, 14 galloyl glucoses, 10 acetophenones, 5 phenolic acids, 3 flavonoids and 1 triterpene. These chemical constituents were separated on a C18 column and identified or tentatively characterized based on UV spectra and MS fragmentation behavior. The chemical compositions of the three Paeonia species were found to have many differences. Paeonol was the predominant constituent of P. suffruticosa and P. decomposita, while P. delavayi contained albiflorin and more galloyl glucoses than the other two Paeonia species. Most of these identified compounds have been reported from P. delavayi and P. decomposita for the first time. The ESI-MS fragmentation behavior of monoterpene glycosides, acetophenones and galloyl glucoses was also investigated successively, and appropriate characteristic pathways were proposed. The large differences in chemical compounds among the three Paeonia species strongly encouraged further comparison of the bioactivities of these three species.