Tentative identification of new metabolites of epimedin C by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry

Minyan Liu, Shaohua Zhao, Zongquan Wang, Hongtao Wang, Xiaowei Shi, Ziming Lü, Honghui Xu, Hairong Wang, Yingfeng Du, Lantong Zhang
Journal of Separation Science 2011, 34 (22): 3200-7
Epimedin C is one of the major bioactive constituents of Herba Epimedii. The aim of this study is to characterize and elucidate the structure of metabolites in the rat after administration of epimedin C. Metabolite identification was performed using a predictive multiple reaction monitoring-information dependent acquisition-enhanced product ion (pMRM-IDA-EPI) scan in positive ion mode on a hybrid triple quadrupole-linear ion trap mass spectrometer. A total of 18 metabolites were characterized by the changes in their protonated molecular masses, their MS/MS spectrum and their retention times compared with those of the parent drug. The results reveal possible metabolite profiles of epimedin C in rats; the metabolic pathways including hydrolysis, hydroxylation, dehydrogenation, demethylation and conjugation with glucuronic acid and different sugars were observed. This study provides a practical approach for rapidly identifying complicated metabolites, a methodology that could be widely applied for the structural characterization of metabolites of other compounds.

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