20 January 2017
Aconite is a valuable drug and also a toxic material, which can be used only after detoxification processing. Although traditional processing methods can achieve detoxification effect as desired, there are some obvious drawbacks, including a significant loss of alkaloids and poor quality consistency. It is thus necessary to develop a new detoxification approach. In the present study, we designed a novel one-step detoxification approach by quickly drying fresh-cut aconite particles. In order to evaluate the technical advantages, the contents of mesaconitine, aconitine, hypaconitine, benzoylmesaconine, benzoylaconine, benzoylhypaconine, neoline, fuziline, songorine, and talatisamine were determined using HPLC and UHPLC/Q-TOF-MS. Multivariate analysis methods, such as Clustering analysis and Principle component analysis, were applied to determine the quality differences between samples. Our results showed that traditional processes could reduce toxicity as desired, but also led to more than 85.2% alkaloids loss. However, our novel one-step method was capable of achieving virtually the same detoxification effect, with only an approximately 30% alkaloids loss. Cluster analysis and Principal component analysis analyses suggested that Shengfupian and the novel products were significantly different from various traditional products. Acute toxicity testing showed that the novel products achieved a good detoxification effect, with its maximum tolerated dose being equivalent to 20 times of adult dosage. And cardiac effect testing also showed that the activity of the novel products was stronger than that of traditional products. Moreover, particles specification greatly improved the quality consistency of the novel products, which was immensely superior to the traditional products. These results would help guide the rational optimization of aconite processing technologies, providing better drugs for clinical treatment.