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Planta Med. 2007 Apr;73(4):392-8. Epub 2007 Mar 19.

Comparative analysis of Ligusticum chuanxiong and related umbelliferous medicinal plants by high performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry.

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West China School of Pharmacy, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, P.R. China.


A highly precise and accurate method, based on high performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (HPLC-ESI-MS), was developed for the qualitative and quantitative comparison of the main constituents in the rhizome of Ligusticum chuanxiong (LC) and three related umbelliferous medicinal plants. A comprehensive validation of the developed method was conducted, and the method was highly sensitive, reproducible and accurate. The unique properties of the present method were validated by analyzing 20 related herbal samples including 5 LC samples, 5 Cnidium officinale samples (CO), 5 Angelica sinensis samples (AS) and 5 Angelica acutiloba samples (AA). Twelve compounds including phenolic constituents, alkylphthalides and phthalide dimers were identified by online ESI-MS and by comparison with literature data and standard compounds, and six of them were quantified by HPLC-DAD simultaneously. The results demonstrated that identical compound types were identified as the main constituents of LC, CO, AS and AA herbs. The results also support the alternative application of these medicinal plants in Chinese and Japanese folk medicines. In the present study, it was found that the variation in the abundance of senkyunolide A was significant in these related herbs; it is therefore feasible to choose senkyunolide A as a characteristic compound for quality evaluation and chemical authentication of these herbs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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