Development and validation of a sensitive and fast UPLC–MS/MS method for simultaneous determination of seven bioactive compounds in rat plasma after oral administration of Guizhi-gancao decoction

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Abstract

Rapid, sensitive, selective and accurate UPLC–MS/MS method was developed and fully validated for simultaneous determination of cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid, 2-methoxy cinnamic acid, glycyrrhizic acid, glycyrrhetinic acid, liquiritigenin and isoliquiritin in rat plasma after oral administration of Guizhi-gancao decoction. Plasma samples were processed with a simple protein precipitation technique using acetonitrile, followed by chromatographic separation using a Thermo Hypersil GOLD C18 column. A 11.0 min linear gradient elution was used at a flow rate of 0.2 mL/min with a mobile phase of 0.1% acetic acid containing 0.2 mM ammonium acetate in water and acetonitrile. The analytes and internal standard, schisandrin, were detected using both positive and negative ion electrospray ionization in multiple reaction monitoring mode. The developed method was validated for intra-day and inter-day accuracy and precision whose values fell in the acceptable limits. Matrix effect was found to be minimal. Recovery efficiency of all the analytes was found to be >60%. Stability results showed that the analytes were stable at all the conditions. This validated method was successfully used to study the pharmacokinetics of multiple compounds in rat plasma after oral administration of Guizhi-gancao decoction.

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