Qualitative and quantitative two-dimensional thin-layer chromatography/high performance liquid chromatography/diode-array/electrospray-ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry of cholinesterase inhibitors

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Abstract

Recently launched thin-layer chromatography-mass spectrometry (TLC–MS) interface enabling extraction of compounds directly from TLC plates into MS ion source was unusually extended into two-dimensional thin-layer chromatography/high performance liquid chromatography (2D, TLC/HPLC) system by its a direct connection to a rapid resolution 50 × 2.1 mm, I.D. C18 column compartment followed by detection by diode array (DAD) and electrospray ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (ESI-TOF-MS). In this way, even not separated bands of complicated mixtures of natural compounds could be analysed structurally, only within 1–2 min after development of TLC plates. In comparison to typically applied TLC–MS interface, no ion suppression for acidic mobile phases was observed. Also, substantial increase in ESI-TOF-MS sensitivities and quality of spectra, were noticed. It has been utilised in combination with TLC- based bioautographic approaches of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors, However, it can be also applied in any other procedures related to bioactivity (e.g. 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picryl-hydrazyl—DPPH screen test for radicals). This system has been also used for determination of half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50 values) of the active inhibitor—galanthamine, as an example. Moreover, AChE inhibitory potencies of some of purified plant extracts, never studied before, have been quantitatively measured. This is first report of usage such the 2D TLC/HPLC/MS system both for qualitative and quantitative evaluation of cholinesterase inhibitors in biological matrices.

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