The metabolic activation of aristolochic acids (AAs) that have been demonstrated to be mutagenic and carcinogenic was investigated. In vitro metabolism study indicated that AAs were metabolized to N-hydroxyaristolactam, which could be either reduced to aristolactams or rearranged to 7-hydroxyaristolactams via the Bamberger rearrangement. In vivo metabolism study is important because the intermediates (aristolactam-nitriumion) of the nitroreduction process are thought to be responsible for the carcinogenicity of AAs. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) were applied to the analyses of a series of positional isomers of hydroxyaristolactams in rat urine samples after the in vivo study of AAs. Three hydroxylated metabolites of aristolactam II and two hydroxylated metabolites of aristolactam I were identified. The structures of the positional isomers were elucidated from the interpretation of MS/MS spectra and theoretical calculations. In addition, several new metabolites were detected in the rat urine by high-resolution mass spectrometry and MS/MS, including those from the decarboxylation of AAs and the conjugations of acetylation, glucuronidation, and sulfation of aristolochic acid Ia.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Pharmaceutical Science