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Determination of catechins and catechin gallates in tissues by liquid chromatography with coulometric array detection and selective solid phase extraction.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 3/F Hong Kong Eye Hospital, 147K Argyle Street, Kowloon, Hong Kong.


Catechins levels in organ tissues, particularly liver, determined by published methods are unexpectedly low, probably due to the release of oxidative enzymes, metal ions and reactive metabolites from tissue cells during homogenization and to the pro-oxidant effects of ascorbic acid during sample processing in the presence of metal ions. We describe a new method for simultaneous analysis of eight catechins in tissue: (+)-catechin (C), (-)-epicatechin (EC), (-)-gallocatechin (GC), (-)-epigallocatechin (EGC), (-)-catechin gallate (CG), (-)-epicatechin gallate (ECG), (-)-gallocatechin gallate (GCG) and (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) (Fig. 1). The new extraction procedure utilized a methanol/ethylacetate/dithionite (2:1:3) mixture during homogenization for simultaneous enzyme precipitation and antioxidant protection. Selective solid phase extraction was used to remove most interfering bio-matrices. Reversed phase HPLC with CoulArray detection was used to determine the eight catechins simultaneously within 25 min. Good linearity (>0.9922) was obtained in the range 20-4000 ng/g. The coefficients of variance (CV) were less than 5%. Absolute recovery ranged from 62 to 96%, accuracy 92.5 +/- 4.5 to 104.9 +/- 6%. The detection limit was 5 ng/g. This method is capable for determining catechins in rat tissues of liver, brain, spleen, and kidney. The method is robust, reproducible, with high recovery, and has been validated for both in vitro and in vivo sample analysis.

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