Systematic identification and quantification of tetracyclic monoterpenoid oxindole alkaloids in Uncaria rhynchophylla and their fragmentations in Q-TOF-MS spectra

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Graphical abstractHighlightsTetracyclic monoterpenoid oxindole alkaloids (TMOAs) were studied for investigation of fragmentations in Q-TOF-MS.Diagnostic fragmentation ions (DFIs) were first delineated for isorhynchophylline-type and corynoxeine-type TMOAs.Four novel TMOAs were identified and reported for the first time in Uncaria rhynchophylline.A total of 29 compounds, comprising 18 alkaloids, 6 flavonoids and 5 quinic acids, were identified by the developed HPLC-DAD–Q-TOF-MS.Eight marker compounds have been simultaneously quantified and the method was validated.Uncaria rhynchophylla (UR) is a species of Uncaria that is distributed mainly in China and Japan. In this study, the chemical constituents, including alkaloids, flavonoids, and quinic acids, in UR have been systematically identified and quantified by a developed method of high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with diode-array detection and quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (Q-TOF-MS). Tetracyclic monoterpenoid oxindole alkaloids (TMOAs) are characteristic compounds in this herb, and their fragmentations in Q-TOF-MS have been investigated. Diagnostic fragmentation ions (DFIs) were first delineated for isorhynchophylline-type (7S, C20-ethyl) and corynoxeine-type (7R, C20-vinyl) TMOAs, and these were used for identification of these alkaloids in UR. In this study, a total of 29 compounds, comprising 18 alkaloids, six flavonoids, and five quinic acids, were identified. Among them, there are four novel TMOAs, named as 22-O-β-glucopyranosyl isorhynchophyllic acid (10), 22-O-β-glucopyranosyl rhynchophyllic acid (11), 9-hydroxy isocorynoxeine (16), and 9-hydroxy corynoxeine (20), which have not been reported previously. Furthermore, eight marker compounds, namely chlorogenic acid (3), catechin (8), epicatechin (9), isocorynoxeine (24), rhynchophylline (25), isorhynchophylline (27), vincoside lactam (28), and corynoxeine (29), have been simultaneously quantified. The developed method has been validated and successfully applied to analyze three samples of UR from Jiangxi Province. The contents of the marker compounds have been detected and compared.

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