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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Pharmacol. | doi: 10.3389/fphar.2018.01377

A practical quality control method for saponins without UV absorption by UPLC-QDA

Manjia Zhao1, Jung Chao2,  Yuntao Dai1*, Qi Lic3, Pengyue Lia1,  Xue-mei Qin4 and  Shilin Chena1
  • 1Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, China
  • 2Department of Chinese Pharmaceutical Sciences and Chinese Medicine Resources, China Medical University, Taiwan
  • 3Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, China
  • 4Modern Research Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanxi University, China

Saponins are a class of important active ingredients. Analysis of saponin-containing herbal medicines is a major challenge for the quality control of medicinal herbs in companies. Taking the medicine Astragali radix (AR) as an example, it has been shown that the existing evaporative light scattering detection (ELSD) methods of astragaloside IV (AG IV) has the disadvantages of time-consuming sample preparation and low sensitivity. The universality of ELSD results in an inapplicable fingerprint with huge signals from primary compounds and smaller signals from saponins. The purpose of this study was to provide a practical and comprehensive method for the quality control of the astragalosides in AR. A simple sample preparation method with sonication extraction and ammonia hydrolyzation was established, which shortens the preparation time from around two days to less than 2 h. A UPLC-QDA method with the SIM mode was established for the quantification of AG IV in AR. Methanol extract was subjected to UPLC-QDA for fingerprinting analysis, and the common peaks were identified simultaneously with the QDA. The results showed that with the newly established method, the preparation time for a set of samples was less than 90 min. The fingerprints can simultaneously detect both saponins and flavonoids in AR. This simple, rapid, and comprehensive UPLC-QDA method is suitable for quality assessment of RA and its products in companies, and also provides references for the quality control of other saponin ingredients without UV absorption.

Keywords: Saponins, Astragalus membranaceus, Astragaloside IV, Fingerprint, UPLC-QDA

Received: 31 Jul 2018; Accepted: 09 Nov 2018.

Edited by:

Caroline Howard, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, United Kingdom

Reviewed by:

Rufeng Wang, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, China
Jianping Chen, Shenzhen Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital, China  

Copyright: © 2018 Zhao, Chao, Dai, Lic, Lia, Qin and Chena. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Yuntao Dai, Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, China,