Seven antioxidants were purified from Eucommia ulmoides Oliv. leaves using HSCCC guided by DPPH-HPLC experiment. HSCCC was successfully used to separate target antioxidants by three runs with different solvent systems after D101 column chromatography fractionation. Ethyl acetate-n-butanol-water (1:2:3, v/v/v) was selected as the optimum solvent system to purify geniposidic acid. Ethyl acetate-ethanol-water (4:1:5, v/v/v) was used to isolate caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid and ferulic acid. While three flavonoids, quercetin-3-O-sambubioside, rutin and isoquercitrin were purified by petroleum ether-ethyl acetate-methanol-water (1:5:1:5, v/v/v/v). The structures were identified by MS and NMR. Antioxidant activities were assessed, and compounds 2-7 showed strong antioxidant activities. This is the first report about separation of antioxidants from E. ulmoides leaves by HSCCC. The results indicated that the combinative methods using DPPH-HPLC and HSCCC could be widely applied for screening and isolation of antioxidants from complex extracts.
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