Pharmacokinetics, tissue distribution and excretion of coumarin components from Psoralea corylifolia L. in rats

Arch Pharm Res. 2010 Feb;33(2):225-30. doi: 10.1007/s12272-010-0206-5. Epub 2010 Feb 24.


Coumarin components from Psoralea corylifolia L. are novel drugs in which psoralen and isopsoralen are the active components. The pharmacokinetics, tissue distribution and excretion of the two compounds were studied by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry after intravenous administration to Wistar rats. The elimination half-lives of psoralen and isopsoralen were 4.88 and 5.35 h. After dosing, the area under the curves of the tissues decreased in the following order: liver > lung > heart > kidney > spleen > brain for psoralen; and kidney > lung > liver > heart > spleen > brain for isopsoralen. After dosing, 51.27% of psoralen and 56.25% of isopsoralen were excreted as prototype, and urine was the major excretion route. In addition, the pharmacokinetics of psoralen and isopsoralen after oral administration to Wistar rats were also studied. The elimination half-lives of psoralen and isopsoralen were 4.13 and 5.56 h, and their relative bioavailabilities were 61.45% and 70.35%. Overall, the results show that coumarin components from P. corylifolia L. have high oral bioavailability, they are rapidly and widely distributed into tissues after intravenous administration, but they are slowly cleared and excreted.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Coumarins / administration & dosage
  • Coumarins / pharmacokinetics*
  • Ficusin / administration & dosage
  • Ficusin / pharmacokinetics*
  • Fruit
  • Furocoumarins / administration & dosage
  • Furocoumarins / pharmacokinetics*
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacokinetics
  • Psoralea*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Coumarins
  • Furocoumarins
  • Plant Extracts
  • angelicin
  • Ficusin