Development and validation of a sensitive LC-MS-MS method for the simultaneous determination of multicomponent contents in artificial Calculus Bovis.
Artificial Calculus Bovis is a major substitute in clinical treatment for Niuhuang, a widely used, efficacious but rare traditional Chinese medicine. However, its chemical structures and the physicochemical properties of its components are complicated, which causes difficulty in establishing a set of effective and comprehensive methods for its identification and quality control. In this study, a simple, sensitive and reliable liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method was successfully developed and validated for the simultaneous determination of bilirubin, taurine and major bile acids (including six unconjugated bile acids, two glycine-conjugated bile acids and three taurine-conjugated bile acids) in artificial Calculus Bovis using a Zorbax SB-C18 column with a gradient elution of methanol and 10 mmol/L ammonium acetate in aqueous solution (adjusted to pH 3.0 with formic acid). The mass spectra were obtained in the negative ion mode using dehydrocholic acid as the internal standard. The content of each analyte in artificial Calculus Bovis was determined by monitoring specific ion pairs in the selected reaction monitoring mode. All analytes demonstrated perfect linearity (r(2) > 0.994) in a wide dynamic range, and 10 batches of samples from different sources were further analyzed. This study provided a comprehensive method for the quality control of artificial Calculus Bovis.更多