Veratramine (VAM) is the major lipid-soluble alkaloid existing in Veratrum nigrum L. that has been demonstrated to exert neurotoxic effects. To better understand the potential mechanism of neurotoxicity of VAM, VAM-induced DNA damage was measured in the cerebellum and cerebral cortex of mice after a 7-day repetitive oral dose by using single-cell gel electrophoresis (comet assay). A method based on high-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry was developed for the determination of VAM and its in vivo and in vitro metabolites, to establish the potential correlation between metabolites and neurotoxicity. In vitro experiment was carried out using rat liver microsomes, whereas the in vivo study was conducted on rats at a single dose of 3 mg/kg. The results showed that VAM caused DNA damage in the cerebellum and cerebral cortex of mice in a dose-dependent manner. Phenyl mono-oxidation, sulfate conjugation and phenyl di-oxidation were proposed to be the main in vivo metabolic pathways of VAM, whereas the major in vitro metabolic pathways were phenyl mono-oxidation, hydroxylation and methylation. Phenyl-oxidation reaction was likely to be associated with reactive oxygen species production, leading to the DNA damage in the mouse brain.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Analytical Chemistry