20 February 2018
Sesquiterpene lactones are considered as the major active compounds in Kudiezi injection in virtue of their special structures and activities. Herein, an analytical method was developed for rapid screening and identification of sesquiterpene lactones in Kudiezi injection using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with linear ion trap-orbitrap mass spectrometry (HPLC-LTQ-Orbitrap) in negative ion mode. First, two sesquiterpene lactone reference standards were analyzed to obtain their characteristic ESI-MS/MS fragmentation patterns. Second, based on extracted ion chromatography (EIC) data-mining method and characteristic fragmentation pathways analysis, sesquiterpene lactones in Kudiezi injection were rapidly screened and identified. Finally, an important parameter Clog P was adopted to discriminate the isomers of sesquiterpene lactones. As a result, 50 ses-quiterpene lactones were characterized, including 9 sesquiterpene lactone agly cones, 39 sesquiterpene lactone glycosides, and 2 amino acid-sesquiterpene lactone conjugates. Among them, 13 compounds were tentatively identified as new compounds. The results demonstrated that the established method would be a rapid, effective analytical tool for screening and identification of ses-quiterpene lactones in the complex system of natural medicines.