Development and validation of liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method for quantification of a potential anticancer triterpene saponin from seeds of Nigella glandulifera in rat plasma: application to a pharmacokinetic study.J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2014 Sep 15; 967:156-61.JC
Nigella glandulifera Freyn et Sit is a folk medicinal plant, whose seeds show significant anticancer activities attributed to triterpene saponins and volatile oil. In this study, an in vitro cytotoxicity assay demonstrated that Nigella A, the major component of triterpene saponins extracted from N. glandulifera, exhibited growth inhibition in the human lung carcinoma A-549 cell line. Due to this potential activity, a reliable liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method to quantify Nigella A in rat plasma for a pharmacokinetic study was developed. Nigella A and pravastatin, as internal standard (IS), were extracted from rat plasma using acetonitrile to precipitate protein. Separation was performed on an Agilent Zorbax SB-Aq (3.0 × 150 mm, 3.5 μm) column using a gradient elution method with acetonitrile-0.1% formic acid in water at a flow rate of 0.35 mL/min. Detection was performed using an electrospray ionization in a negative ion multiple reaction monitoring mode. The deprotonated precursor to product ion transitions monitored for Nigella A and IS was at m/z 1352.7→882.6 and m/z 423.1→321.0, respectively. The linear range was 0.240-120 μg/mL with a square regression coefficient (r=0.9996). The intra-day and inter-day precision was less than 6.93%. The simple extraction procedure provided recovery ranged from 92.32 to 95.44% for both analyte and IS. The method was proved to be reliable, precise, and accurate, and was successfully applied to a pharmacokinetic study of Nigella A in rats after i.v. administration via the tail vein at doses of 10, 20, and 30 mg/kg.