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Epimedium koreanum Nakai (EKN), is a well-known Chinese herbal medicine for the treatment of osteoporosis, immunosuppression, tumours and cardiovascular diseases. Comprehensive component identification is essential for elucidation of its pharmacological mechanism and quality control. However, its complex chemical composition has caused certain difficulties in the analysis of this traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Therefore, there is an urgent need to establish a method for rapid classification and identification of EKN chemical components. To establish a method for rapid classification and identification of the main components of flavonoids, organic acids and alkaloids in EKN. The samples were analysed by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-Q-TOF-MS) and data post-processing techniques. The UPLC system used a BEH C18 column to separate the total extract of EKN. The mobile phase consisted of 0.1% formic acid in water and acetonitrile, and the EKN extract was analysed by gradient elution at a flow rate of 0.4 mL/min. In both the positive and negative ion modes, the fragment information was obtained and compared with those of the characteristic fragmentations and neutral losses described in the literature to quickly identify the target compounds. Finally, we successfully screened out 51 chemical components, including 40 flavonoids, nine organic acids, and two alkaloids. The established method not only comprehensively analysed the chemical compositions of EKN, solved the difficult problems of analysis and identification of the complex chemical compositions of the TCM, but also further promoted the development of the application of chemical compositions of TCM. © 2020 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Ning Li, Lijuan Xie, Na Yang, Guijiang Sun, Hui Liu, Chenghao Bi, Jingyi Duan, Yu Yuan, Hongxin Yu, Yanyan Xu, Yubo Li. Rapid classification and identification of chemical constituents in Epimedium koreanum Nakai by UPLC-Q-TOF-MS combined with data post-processing techniques. Phytochemical analysis : PCA. 2021 Jul;32(4):575-591

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PMID: 33167069

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