Determination of quinolizidine alkaloids in Sophora flavescens and its preparation using capillary electrophoresis.
ABSTRACT A simple and accurate capillary electrophoresis method was developed for the determination of four quinolizidine alkaloids in Sophora flavescens and Kuhuang injection. Optimum separation of the analytes was obtained on a 65 cm x 75 microm i.d. uncoated fused-silica capillary using a aqueous buffer system of 60 mmol L(-1) sodium borate at pH 8.5, with applied voltage and capillary temperature of 12 kV and 25 degrees C, respectively. Detection wavelength was set at 204 nm and jatrorrhizine was used as the internal standard. Good linear relationships between peak-area ratios and concentrations of the analytes were observed over the concentration range 0.044-0.792 mg mL(-1) for matrine, 0.142-1.926 mg mL(-1) for oxymatrine, 0.0377-0.3393 mg mL(-1) for sophocarpine and 0.0664-1.062 mg mL(-1) for sophoridine. The recoveries of four alkaloids ranged between 93.08 and 101.4% with relative standard deviations from 0.7 to 9.2% (n = 6) as determined by standard addition. The limits of detection for four alkaloids were determined to be over the range 8.8-48.0 microg mL(-1). Contents of four alkaloids in Sophora flavescens and three alkaloids in Kuhuang injection were successfully determined under the optimum conditions.