09 April 2018
Kumu injection (KMI) is a common-used traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) preparation made from Picrasma quassioides (D. Don) Benn. rich in alkaloids. An innovative technique for quality assessment of KMI was developed using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) combined with chemometric methods and qualitative and quantitative analysis of multi-components by single marker (QAMS). Nigakinone (PQ-6, 5-hydroxy-4-methoxycanthin-6-one), one of the most abundant alkaloids responsible for the major pharmacological activities of Kumu, was used as a reference substance. Six alkaloids in KMI were quantified, including 6-hydroxy- β-carboline-1-carboxylic acid (PQ-1), 4,5-dimethoxycanthin-6-one (PQ-2), β-carboline-1-carboxylic acid (PQ-3), β-carboline-1-propanoic acid (PQ-4), 3-methylcanthin-5,6-dione (PQ-5), and PQ-6. Based on the outcomes of twenty batches of KMI samples, the contents of six alkaloids were used for further chemometric analysis. By hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA), radar plots, and principal component analysis (PCA), all the KMI samples could be categorized into three groups, which were closely related to production date and indicated the crucial influence of herbal raw material on end products of KMI. QAMS combined with chemometric analysis could accurately measure and clearly distinguish the different quality samples of KMI. Hence, QAMS is a feasible and promising method for the quality control of KMI.