A general ionic liquid pH-zone-refining countercurrent chromatography method for separation of alkaloids from Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn.J Chromatogr A. 2017 Jul 21; 1507:63-71.JC
The alkaloids from lotus (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn) are effective in lowering hyperlipemia and level of cholesterol. However, there is not a general method for their separation. In this work, a general ionic liquid pH-zone-refining countercurrent chromatography method for isolation and purification of six alkaloids from the whole lotus plant was successfully established by using ionic liquids as the modifier of the two-phase solvent system. The conditions of ionic liquid pH-zone-refining countercurrent chromatography, involving solvent systems, concentration of retainer and eluter, types of ionic liquids, the content of ionic liquids as well as ionic liquids posttreatment, were optimized to improve extraction efficiency. Finally, the separation of these six alkaloids was performed with a two-phase solvent system composed of n-hexane-ethyl acetate-methanol-water-[C4mim][PF6] at a volume ratio of 5:2:2:8:0.1, where 10mM TEA was added to the organic stationary phase as a retainer and 3mM HCl was added to the aqueous mobile phase as an eluter. As a result, six alkaloids including N-nornuciferine, liensinine, nuciferine, isoliensinine, roemerine and neferine were successfully separated with the purities of 97.0%, 90.2%, 94.7%, 92.8%, 90.4% and 95.9%, respectively. The established general method has been respectively applied to the crude samples of lotus leaves and lotus plumules. A total of 37.3mg of liensinine, 57.7mg of isoliensinine and 179.9mg of neferine were successfully purified in one run from 1.00g crude extract of lotus plumule with the purities of 93.2%, 96.5% and 98.8%, respectively. Amount of 45.6mg N-nornuciferine, 21.6mg nuciferine and 11.7mg roemerine was obtained in one step separation from 1.05g crude extract of lotus leaves with the purity of 96.9%, 95.6% and 91.33%, respectively.