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Quantification and characterization of alkaloids from roots of Rauwolfia serpentina using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-photo diode array-mass spectrometry

Sagi, Satyanarayanaraju, Avula, Bharathi, Wang, Yan-Hong, Khan, Ikhlas A.
Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry 2016 v.408 no.1 pp. 177-190
Rauvolfia serpentina, acetonitrile, chromatography, detection limit, dietary supplements, formic acid, ionization, ions, mass spectrometry, quality control, reserpine, roots, serpentine, yohimbine
A new UHPLC-UV method has been developed for the simultaneous analysis of seven alkaloids [ajmaline (1), yohimbine (2), corynanthine (3), ajmalicine (4), serpentine (5), serpentinine (6), and reserpine (7)] from the root samples of Rauwolfia serpentina (L.) Benth. ex Kurz. The chromatographic separation was achieved using a reversed phase C₁₈ column with a mobile phase of water and acetonitrile, both containing 0.05 % formic acid. The seven compounds were completely separated within 8 min at a flow rate of 0.2 mL/min with a 2-μL injection volume. The method is validated for linearity, accuracy, repeatability, limits of detection (LOD), and limits of quantification (LOQ). Seven plant samples and 21 dietary supplements claiming to contain Rauwolfia roots were analyzed and content of total alkaloids (1–7) varied, namely, 1.57–12.1 mg/g dry plant material and 0.0–4.5 mg/day, respectively. The results indicated that commercial products are of variable quality. The developed analytical method is simple, economic, fast, and suitable for quality control analysis of Rauwolfia samples and commercial products. The UHPLC-QToF-mass spectrometry with electrospray ionization (ESI) interface method is described for the confirmation and characterization of alkaloids from plant samples. This method involved the detection of [M + H]⁺ or M⁺ ions in the positive mode.