J Pharm Biomed Anal 2016 Sep 29;129:121-134. Epub 2016 Jun 29.
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok 65000, Thailand.
Bacopa monnieri (L.) Wettst. (Scrophulariaceae) is an Ayurvedic medicinal plant used as a memory enhancer. Its major chemical constituents are Bacopa saponins consisting of jujubogenin and pseudojujubogenin glycosides. These two aglycones are isomers different at the positions of prenyl substitution i.e., at C-23 for jujubogenin and at C-22 for pseudojujubogenin. In this study, we demonstrate the rapid and comprehensive characterization of saponin glycosides in B. monnieri using liquid chromatography with electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer (LC-ESI-QTOF-MS). This shows that ESI-QTOF-MS in positive-ion mode, jujubogenin and pseudojujubogenin glycosides could be discriminated by the peak abundance ratio of m/z 455 [Aglycone+H-H2O](+) to m/z of 473 [Aglycone+H](+). Furthermore, the sequence of sugar moieties can be observed. In a similar manner, the isomeric saponins; deoxyjujubogenin and deoxypseudojujubogenin glycosides can be distinguished using the m/z 437[Aglycone+H-H2O](+) and m/z 455[Aglycone+H](+) peak ratio. Use of the negative-ion mode with MS/MS fragmentation can provide information about the type of sugar linked to the aglycone i.e., at m/z 633 (aglycone+glucose) or at m/z 603 (aglycone+arabinose). With our method, 62 chemical constituents in B. monnieri including saponin glycosides, flavonoids, and alkaloids were identified. This is the first systematic study in structural characterization on isomeric saponins and other metabolites in B. monnieri using ESI-QTOF-MS.