A Fast and Reliable UHPLC–MS/MS-Based Method for Screening Selected Pharmacologically Significant Natural Plant Indole Alkaloids

Tarkowská D.
MOLECULES 25: 3274, 2020

Keywords: monoterpene indole alkaloids; monoamine oxidase inhibitors; harmaline; harmine; yohimbine; ajmalicine; plants; analysis; ultra-high performance liquid chromatography; mass spectrometry
Abstract: Many substances of secondary plant metabolism have often attracted the attention of scientists and the public because they have certain beneficial effects on human health, although the reason for their biosynthesis in the plant remains unclear. This is also the case for alkaloids. More than 200 years have passed since the discovery of the first alkaloid (morphine), and several thousand substances of this character have been isolated since then. Most often, alkaloid-rich plants are part of folk medicine with centuries-old traditions. What is particularly important to monitor for these herbal products is the spectrum and concentrations of the present active substances, which decide whether the product has a beneficial or toxic e ect on human health. In this work, we present a fast, reliable, and robust method for the extraction, preconcentration, and determination of four selected alkaloids with an indole skeleton, i.e., harmine, harmaline, yohimbine, and ajmalicine, by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry. The applicability of the method was demonstrated for tobacco and Tribulus terrestris plant tissue, the seeds of Peganum harmala, and extract from the bark of the African tree Pausinystalia johimbe.
DOI: 10.3390/molecules25143274 IEB authors: Danuše Tarkowská