Simultaneous determination of ten compounds in rat plasma by UPLC-MS/MS: Application in the pharmacokinetic study of Ma-Zi-Ren-Wan

Dong Dong Hu, Simon Q B HAN, Lidan ZHONG, Yanhong LI, Cheng Yuan Lin, Hing Man Ho, Man Zhang, Shuhai LIN, Ling Zhao, Tao Huang, Hong Mi, Hong Sheng Tan, Hong Xi Xu*, Zhaoxiang BIAN

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Ma-Zi-Ren-Wan (MZRW) is a classic Chinese formula which has been used to treat human constipation in China for over 2000 years. In order to make good and rational use of this formula in the future, this paper presents the first attempt to track the pharmacokinetic features of MZRW in rat using rapid and sensitive ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS). Ten chemical components of MZRW, namely, rhein, emodin, aloe emodin, hesperidin, naringin, amygdalin, albiflorin, paeoniflorin, magnolol and honokiol, were simultaneously determined in rat plasma after a single oral administration (10g/kg body weight) of MZRW to rats. Geniposide and liquiritin were used as internal standards. The separation was performed on a Waters ACQUITY BEH C18 column (100mm×2.1mm, 1.7μm). The detection was conducted by multiple-reaction monitoring (MRM) in negative ionization mode. Two highest abundant MRM transitions without interference were optimized for each analyte. This method was well validated in terms of linearity, precision, accuracy, recovery, matrix effect and stability. All calibration curves had good linearity (r2>0.995) over the concentration range from 3.9 to 125.0ng/mL for emodin, 3.9-500.0ng/mL for amygdalin, 2.0-4000.0ng/mL for naringin and hesperidin, 3.9-2000.0ng/mL for magnolol, 7.8-2000.0ng/mL for rhein and 3.9-4000.0ng/mL for albiflorin, paeoniflorin, aloe emodin and honokiol. The intra-day and inter-day precision (relative standard deviation) was within 15%, the accuracy (relative error) ranged from -13.6% to 15.1%, and the lower limit of quantification in plasma ranged between 2.0ng/mL and 7.8ng/mL. Extraction recovery, matrix effect and stability were satisfactory. The validated method was successfully applied to a pharmacokinetic study of these ten compounds after oral administration of MZRW to rats. The pharmacokinetic parameters of each compound can facilitate clinical studies in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-146
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Chromatography B: Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Active ingredient
  • Ma-Zi-Ren-Wan
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Rat plasma


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