Simultaneous determination of 15 flavonoids in Epimedium using pressurized liquid extraction and high-performance liquid chromatography

X J Chen, B L Guo, S P Li, Q W Zhang, P F Tu, Y T Wang
Journal of Chromatography. A 2007 September 7, 1163 (1-2): 96-104
Herba Epimedii (family Berberidaceae), Yinyanghuo in Chinese, is one of the commonly used Chinese medicines. Flavonoids are considered as its active components. In this study, a reliable pressurized liquid extraction (PLE) and HPLC method was developed for simultaneous determination of 15 flavonoids, namely hexandraside E, kaempferol-3-O-rhamnoside, hexandraside F, epimedin A, epimedin B, epimedin C, icariin, epimedoside C, baohuoside II, caohuoside C, baohuoside VII, sagittatoside A, sagittatoside B, 2''-O-rhamnosyl icariside II and baohuoside I in different species of Epimedium. The analysis was performed by using a Zorbax SB-C18 analytical column (250 mm x 4.6 mm I.D., 5 microm) at gradient elution of water and acetonitrile with diode-array detection (270 nm). All calibration curves showed good linearity (r(2)>0.9997) within test ranges. The LOD and LOQ were lower than 1.31 ng and 2.62 ng on column, respectively. The RSD for intra- and inter-day of 15 analytes was less than 3.8% at three levels, and the recoveries were 90.5-106.8%. The validated method was successfully applied for the analysis of 15 flavonoids in different species of Epimedium which had great variation on the contents of investigated flavonoids. Hierarchical clustering analysis based on the characteristics of 15 investigated compound peaks in HPLC profiles showed that 26 samples were divided into three main clusters, which were in accordance with their flavonoid contents. Four flavonoids including epimedin A, B, C and icariin were optimized as markers for quality control of the species of Epimedium used as Yinyanghuo.

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