A comparative study on the metabolism of Epimedium koreanum Nakai-prenylated flavonoids in rats by an intestinal enzyme (lactase phlorizin hydrolase) and intestinal flora

Jing Zhou, Yan Chen, Ying Wang, Xia Gao, Ding Qu, Congyan Liu
Molecules: a Journal of Synthetic Chemistry and Natural Product Chemistry 2013, 19 (1): 177-203
The aim of this study was to compare the significance of the intestinal hydrolysis of prenylated flavonoids in Herba Epimedii by an intestinal enzyme and flora. Flavonoids were incubated at 37 °C with rat intestinal enzyme and intestinal flora. HPLC-UV was used to calculate the metabolic rates of the parent drug in the incubation and LC/MS/MS was used to determine the chemical structures of metabolites generated by different flavonoid glycosides. Rates of flavonoid metabolism by rat intestinal enzyme were quicker than those of intestinal flora. The sequence of intestinal flora metabolic rates was icariin>epimedin B>epimedin A>epimedin C>baohuoside I, whereas the order of intestinal enzyme metabolic rates was icariin>epimedin A>epimedin C>epimedin B>baohuoside I. Meanwhile, the LC/MS/MS graphs showed that icariin produced three products, epimedin A/B/C had four and baohuoside I yielded one product in incubations of both intestinal enzyme and flora, which were more than the results of HPLC-UV due to the fact LC/MS/MS has lower detectability and higher sensitivity. Moreover, the outcomes indicated that the rate of metabolization of flavonoids by intestinal enzyme were faster than those of intestinal flora, which was consistent with the HPLC-UV results. In conclusion, the metabolic pathways of the same components by intestinal flora and enzyme were the same. What's more, an intestinal enzyme such as lactase phlorizin hydrolase exhibited a more significant metabolic role in prenylated flavonoids of Herba Epimedi compared with intestinal flora.

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