A simple and rapid method to identify and quantitatively analyze triterpenoid saponins inArdisia crenatausing ultrafast liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization quadrupole mass spectrometry

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Ardisia plant species have been used in traditional medicines, and their bioactive constituents of 13,28-epoxy triterpenoid saponins have excellent biological activities for new drug development. In this study, a fast and simple method based on ultrafast liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (UFLC–MS) was developed to simultaneously identify and quantitatively analyze triterpenoid saponins in Ardisia crenata extracts. In total, 22 triterpenoid saponins, including two new compounds, were identified from A. crenata. The method exhibited good linearity, precision and recovery for the quantitative analysis of eight marker saponins. A relative quantitative method was also developed using one major saponin (ardisiacrispin B) as the standard to break through the choke-point of the lack of standards in phytochemical analysis. The method was successfully applied to quantitatively analyze saponins in commercially available plant samples. This study describes the first systematic analysis of 13,28-epoxy-oleanane-type triterpenoid saponins in the genus Ardisia using LC-ESI–MS. The results can provide the chemical support for further biological studies, phytochemotaxonomical studies and quality control of triterpenoid saponins in medicinal plants of the genus Ardisia.

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