Simultaneous quantification of five steroid saponins fromDioscorea zingiberensisC.H. Wright in rat plasma by HPLC–MS/MS and its application to the pharmacokinetic studies

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A simple, reliable and sensitive high-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method (HPLC–MS/MS) was established for simultaneous analyses of the following 5 steroid saponins in rat plasma after the single dose administration of total steroid saponins extracted from the rhizome of Dioscorea zingiberensis C.H. Wright for the first time. Protodioscin, huangjiangsu A, zingiberensis new saponin, dioscin, and gracillin were quantified using ginsenoside Rb1 as the internal standard (IS). The plasma samples were pretreated by a single step acetonitrile-mediated protein precipitation. The chromatographic separation was performed on an Inersil ODS-3 C18 column (250 mm × 4.6 mm, 5 μm) with the mobile phase composed of acetonitrile and water containing 0.1% formic acid under a gradient elution mode at 0.2 mL min−1 using a microsplit after the eluent from the HPLC apparatus. The quantification was accomplished on a triple quadrupole tandem mass spectrometer using the multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) in the positive ionization mode. The above five analytes were stable under sample storage and preparation conditions applied in the present study. The linearity, precision, accuracy, and recoveries of the analysis confirmed the requirements for quality-control purposes. After validation, this proposed method was successfully adopted to investigate the pharmacokinetic parameters of these five analytes.

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