Pipette tip solid-phase extraction and high-performance liquid chromatography for the determination of flavonoids from Epimedii herba in rat serum and application of the technique to pharmacokinetic studies

Nani Wang, Xiaowen Huang, Xuping Wang, Yang Zhang, Renjie Wu, Dan Shou
Journal of Chromatography. B, Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences 2015 May 15, 990: 64-72
Epimedii herba is a traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of osteoporosis. Epimedin A, B and C and icariin are the primary effective ingredients of this medicine. In this study, a simple and low-cost method based on pipette tip solid-phase extraction, high-performance liquid chromatography separation, and diode array detection has been developed for the simultaneous analysis of four flavonoids (epimedin A, B and C and icariin) from Epimedii herba in rat serum samples. In this novel extraction configuration, the sorbents were placed between a filter (hollow fiber) and the pipette tip. Pipette tip solid-phase extraction has several advantages compared to conventional extraction methods: faster extraction time (6.0min); lower sample volume (100μL); lower solvent volume (100μL); and less solvent waste. Under the optimum extraction conditions, the method showed good linearity (0.05-10.0μgmL(-1)), acceptable intra- and inter precision (RSD<6%), low limits of quantification (0.027-0.045μgmL(-1)) and satisfactory relative recoveries (98.63-103.18%). This method was successfully applied to investigate the pharmacokinetics of the major flavonoids in Epimedii herba extract after oral administration to rats (10gkg(-1) body weight). The primary pharmacokinetic parameters for rats were determined as follows: Cmax, 0.45-4.11μgmL(-1); Tmax, 0.21-0.26h; t1/2α, 0.06-0.12h; t1/2β, 2.02-3.48h; AUC0-∞: 0.50-2.58μghmL(-1); CL, 19.53-44.72Lkg(-1)h(-1); and MRT0-∞, 2.25-3.77h. The developed method has the potential to promulgate the pharmacokinetics and provide more information for clinical applications.

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