Screening and identification of metabolites of two kinds of main active ingredients and hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids in rat after lavage Farfarae Flos extract by UHPLC‐Q‐TOF‐MS mass spectrometry

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EarlyView Article

  • Published: Aug 18, 2017
  • Author: Xiaoye Cheng, Man Liao, Xinpeng Diao, Yupeng Sun, Lantong Zhang
  • Journal: Biomedical Chromatography


Farfarae Flos, the dried flower buds of Tussilago farfara L., is usually used to treat coughs, bronchitic and asthmatic conditions as an important traditional Chinese medicine. Tussilagone and methl butyric acid tussilagin ester are seen as representatives of two kinds of active substances. In addition, the pyrrolizidine alkaloids, mainly senkirkine and senecionine, present in the herb can be hepatoxic. In this study, a rapid and sensitive ultra‐high‐performance liquid chromatography coupled with hybrid triple quadrupole time‐of‐flight mass spectrometry method was successfully applied to identify the metabolites of tussilagone, methl butyric acid tussilagin ester, senkirkine and senecionine. A total of 35, 37, 18 and nine metabolites of tussilagone, methl butyric acid tussilagin ester, senkirkine and senecionine in rats were tentatively identified. Hydrolysis, oxidation, reduction and demethylation were the major metabolic reactions for tussilagone and methl butyric acid tussilagin ester. The main biotransformation routes of senkirkine and senecionine were identified as demethylation, N‐methylation, oxidation and reduction. This study is the first reported analysis and characterization of the metabolites and the proposed metabolic pathways might provide further understanding of the metabolic fate of the chemical constituents after oral administration of Farfarae Flos extract in vivo.

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