Comparative Research of Chemical Profiling in Different Parts of Fissistigma oldhamii by Ultra-High-Performance Liquid Chromatography Coupled with Hybrid Quadrupole-Orbitrap Mass Spectrometry.


Hu H(1)(2), Lee-Fong Y(3), Peng J(1), Hu B(1), Li J(1), Li Y(4), Huang H(1)(3).
Author information:
(1)National Engineering Research Center for Modernization of Traditional Chinese Medicine-Hakka Medical Resources Branch, School of Pharmacy, Gannan Medical University, Ganzhou 341000, China.
(2)Department of Biology, Animal Physiology and Neurobiology Section, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Naamsestraat 59, Box 2465, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.
(3)State Key Laboratory of Quality of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Macao University of Science and Technology, Macau 999078, China.
(4)School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China.


The roots of Fissistigma oldhamii (FO) are widely used as medicine with the effect of dispelling wind and dampness, promoting blood circulation and relieving pains, and its fruits are considered delicious. However, Hakka people always utilize its above-ground parts as a famous folk medicine, Xiangteng, with significant differences from literatures. Studies of chemical composition showed there were multiple aristolactams that possessed high nephrotoxicity, pending evaluation research about their distribution in FO. In this study, a sensitive, selective, rapid and reliable method was established to comparatively perform qualitative and semi-quantitative analysis of the constituents in roots, stems, leaves, fruits and insect galls, using an Ultra-High-Performance Liquid Chromatography coupled with Hybrid Quadrupole Orbitrap Mass Spectrometry (UPLC-Q-Exactive Orbitrap MS, or Q-Exactive for short). To make more accurate identification and comparison of FO chemicals, all MS data were aligned and screened by XCMS, then their structures were elucidated according to MSn ion fragments between the detected and standards, published ones or these generated by MS fragmenter. A total of 79 compounds were identified, including 33 alkaloids, 29 flavonoids, 11 phenylpropanoids, etc. There were 54 common components in all five parts, while another 25 components were just detected in some parts. Six toxic aristolactams were detected in this experiment, including aristolactam AII, AIIIa, BII, BIII, FI and FII, of which the relative contents in above-ground stems were much higher than roots. Meanwhile, multivariate statistical analysis was performed and showed significant differences both in type and content of the ingredients within all FO parts. The results implied that above-ground FO parts should be carefully valued for oral administration and eating fruits. This study demonstrated that the high-resolution mass spectrometry coupled with multivariate statistical methods was a powerful tool in compound analysis of complicated herbal extracts, and the results provide the basis for its further application, scientific development of quality standard and utilization.