Biomed Chromatogr 2014 Sep 12;28(9):1294-302. Epub 2014 Mar 12.
State Key Laboratory for Quality Research of Chinese Medicines, Macau University of Science and Technology, Avenida Wai Long, Taipa, Macau.
An accurate and reliable high-performance liquid chromatography-diode array detector (HPLC-DAD) method was developed and validated for determination of sinomenine (SI), paeoniflorin (PF) and paeonol (PA), which was further applied to assess the pharmacokinetics of SI, PF and PA in an anti-arthritic herbal product, Qingfu Guanjieshu (QFGJS) capsule, in rats. Successful separation was achieved with a C18 column and a mobile phase composed of acetonitrile and aqueous phase (containing 0.1% formic acid, adjusted with triethylamine to pH 3.5 ± 0.2). The method was validated with excellent precision, accuracy, recovery and stability in calibration ranges from 0.06 to 11.62 µg/mL for SI, from 0.09 to 35.70 µg/mL for PF, and from 0.15 to 4.53 µg/mL for PA (with r(2) > 0.999 for all three compounds). Our results showed that absorption of PF after administration of QFGJS was similar to that after oral administration of PF alone; the absorption of SI was decreased while the absorption of PA was increased after giving QFGJS orally compared with pure compounds. We may conclude that pharmacokinetic studies of complex herbal products are not only necessary but also feasible by using representative bioactive chemicals as indicators of establishing quality control standards and of determining pharmacokinetic behavior of herbal medicines.