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Characterization of phenolic compounds and cardiac glycosides from red sea squill (Urginea maritima (L.) Baker) by RP-HPLC-DAD-MSn
Sea squill (Urginea maritima (L.) Baker) is native to the Mediterranean area and has been used for treating heart diseases for a long time. Today, it is still used in homeopathy, mainly due to the presence of cardiac glycosides. Profiles of the latter have been intensively studied in the 1990ies [1; 2]. Common sample preparation strategies comprise tedious clean-up steps or compound isolation by column chromatography. Up until now HPLC methods have been merely focused on cardiac glycosides , although a wide range of further substances have been demonstrated to be also present in sea squill [4; 5]. In the present work, fresh plant material of red sea squill (Sardinia, Italy) was frozen, minced in a blender and extracted with aqueous acetone (90:10, v/v). Solid particles were removed by centrifugation (4560 g) and the resulting extracts were directly analyzed without further sample treatment. Separation was carried out with an RP-HPLC system coupled with DAD and MSn detection and allowed to distinguish more than 50 compounds. Most substances were assigned to phenolic acids, flavonoids and cardiac glycosides, while dihydroquercetin and its hexosides were detected as predominant compounds. This simplified sample preparation procedure helps to characterize complex secondary metabolite spectra of sea squill, e.g. in screening studies without alteration of the genuine compound profile. Differentiation between various provenances and varieties is thus possible for authentication and selection of plant material upon quality control for pharmaceutical preparations.
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