Fructus Evodiae (Wuzhuyu), the fruits of Evodia rutaecarpa and related varieties, is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine. The bioactive constituents include the indoloquinazoline alkaloids rutaecarpine, evodiamine and dehydroevodiamine. A new assay based on high-performance liquid chromatography/atmospheric pressure chemical ionization tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC/UV/APCI-MS/MS) was developed for the measurement of the indoloquinazoline alkaloids in commercial Fructus Evodiae products. Initially, the MS/MS fragmentation pathways of indoloquinazoline alkaloids were investigated to identify fragment ions that might be useful for the sensitive and selective detection of trace indoloquinazoline alkaloids during LC/MS/MS. Then, quantitative MS analysis of five indoloquinazoline alkaloids in 12 commercial Fructus Evodiae products from different geographical sources was performed. Analyte recovery was in the range of 97.5-105.3% for all with relative standard deviations (RSDs) below 6%, the intra-assay and inter-assay RSDs were less than 7%, and good linear relationships were shown with correlation coefficients for the analytes exceeding 0.999. Therefore, this LC/MS/MS assay facilitated the rapid quantitative analysis of rutaecarpine, evodiamine, evodiamide, 14-formyldihydrorutaecarpine and dehydroevodiamine in 12 commercial Fructus Evodiae products with excellent recovery, repeatability, accuracy and sensitivity. This method is simple and specific and can be used for identification and quality control of this traditional Chinese remedy.
Copyright 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.