Isolation from rat urine and human liver microsomes and identification by electrospray and nanospray tandem mass spectrometry of new malagashanine metabolites

J Mass Spectrom. 2000 Sep;35(9):1112-20. doi: 10.1002/1096-9888(200009)35:9<1112::AID-JMS39>3.0.CO;2-K.


Malagashanine has been isolated from indigenous madagascan Strychnos myrtoides alkaloids used traditionally to treat malaria. This alkaloid was found to enhance the action of chloroquine against chloroquine-resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum when combined with classical antimalarial drugs (chloroquine, quinine). The present study was carried out in order to investigate by electrospray mass and tandem mass spectrometry and NMR spectroscopy the structure of two new metabolites isolated from rat urine and human liver microsomes. We were able to demonstrate the presence of two new metabolites of malagashanine corresponding to a malagashanine N-demethylated metabolite and to the oxidation of malagashanine in the alpha-position of the N-methyl group to produce a carbinolamine function. The latter metabolite may be subject to ring and open-chain tautomerism effects and dimeric species were detected in the electrospray mass spectrum.

MeSH terms

  • Alkaloids / analysis*
  • Alkaloids / blood
  • Alkaloids / urine
  • Animals
  • Antimalarials / pharmacology
  • Chloroquine / pharmacology
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Drug Resistance
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Male
  • Microsomes, Liver / chemistry*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization
  • Spectrophotometry, Ultraviolet


  • Alkaloids
  • Antimalarials
  • malagashanine
  • Chloroquine