DOI: 10.1093/chromsci/bmad074 ISSN:

Simultaneous Determination of Three Flavonoids in Rat Plasma of Masson Pinus Needles (Pinus massoniana L.) Extracts by UHPLC-MS/MS and Application to Pharmacokinetics Studies after Oral and Transdermal Administration

Chenjie Xia, Hongliu Zhu, Changhui Hu, Jie Liu, Haibing Hua, Jianqiu Yang, Zhipeng Chen, Yihong Gao
  • General Medicine
  • Analytical Chemistry


Pinus massoniana needles, a traditional herb, were applied to prevent hair loss in China. Studies available mainly focused on pine needle flavonoids with various biological activities. However, there has been no pharmacokinetics study of the flavonoids from Pinus needles extract. A selective and sensitive ultra-high performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) method was developed to simultaneously quantify taxifolin, quercetin and catechin in rat plasma. To separate the three constituents, an Agilent Extend-C18 column (2.1 mm × 100 mm, 1.8 μm) was used with a mobile phrase of (A) 0.1% formic acid and (B) acetonitrile. The analytes were measured by multiple reaction monitoring in the negative ionization mode. There was good linearity in the established UHPLC-MS/MS method, with a coefficient of determination (r2) of >0.99. The accuracy, intra-day and inter-day precision and recovery were all satisfactory and these 3 compounds were stable under the tested conditions. The validated method in this study was successfully applied to pharmacokinetic study in healthy rats after oral and transdermal administration of Pinus needles extract. The results could provide further research foundation for pine needle extract as external preparations.

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