Differences in chemical constituents of Artemisia annua L from different geographical regions in China

PLoS One. 2017 Sep 7;12(9):e0183047. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0183047. eCollection 2017.

Abstract

Background: Daodi-herb is a part of Chinese culture, which has been naturally selected by traditional Chinese medicine clinical practice for many years. Sweet wormwood herb is a kind of Daodi-herb, and comes from Artemisia annua L. Artemisinin is a kind of effective antimalarial drug being extracted from A. annua. Because of artemisinin, Sweet wormwood herb earns a reputation. Based on the Pharmacopoeia of the People's Republic of China (PPRC), Sweet wormwood herb can be used to resolve summerheat-heat, and prevent malaria. Besides, it also has other medical efficacies. A. annua, a medicinal plant that is widely distributed in the world contains many kinds of chemical composition. Research has shown that compatibility of artemisinin, scopoletin, arteannuin B and arteannuic acid has antimalarial effect. Compatibility of scopoletin, arteannuin B and arteannuic acid is conducive to resolving summerheat-heat. Chemical constituents in A. annua vary significantly according to geographical locations. So, distribution of A. annua may play a key role in the characteristics of efficacy and chemical constituents of Sweet wormwood herb. It is of great significance to study this relationship.

Objectives: We mainly analyzed the relationship between the chemical constituents (arteannuin B, artemisinin, artemisinic acid, and scopoletin) with special efficacy in A. annua that come from different provinces in china, and analyzed the relationship between chemical constituents and spatial distribution, in order to find out the relationship between efficacy, chemical constituents and distribution.

Methods: A field survey was carried out to collect A. annua plant samples. A global positioning system (GPS) was used for obtaining geographical coordinates of sampling sites. Chemical constituents in A. annua were determined by liquid chromatography tandem an atmospheric pressure ionization-electrospray mass spectrometry. Relationship between chemical constituents including proportions, correlation analysis (CoA), principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis (ClA) was displayed through Excel and R software version2.3.2(R), while the one between efficacy, chemical constituents and spatial distribution was presented through ArcGIS10.0, Excel and R software.

Results: According to the results of CoA, arteannuin B content presented a strong positive correlation with artemisinic acid content (p = 0), and a strong negative correlation with artemisinin content (p = 0). Scopoletin content presented a strong positive correlation with artemisinin content (p = 0), and a strong negative correlation with artemisinic acid content (p = 0). According to the results of PCA, the first two principal components accounted for 81.57% of the total accumulation contribution rate. The contribution of the first principal component is about 45.12%, manly including arteannuin B and artemisinic acid. The contribution of the second principal component is 36.45% of the total, manly including artemisinin and scopoletin. According to the ClA by using the principal component scores, 19 provinces could be divided into two groups. In terms of provinces in group one, the proportions of artemisinin are all higher than 80%. Based on the results of PCA, ClA, percentages and scatter plot analysis, chemical types are defined as "QHYS type", "INT type" and "QHS type."

Conclusion: As a conclusion, this paper shows the relationship between efficacy, chemical constituents and distribution. Sweet wormwood herb with high arteannuin B and artemisinic acid content, mainly distributes in northern China. Sweet wormwood herb with high artemisinin and scopoletin content has the medical function of preventing malaria, which mainly distributes in southern China. In this paper, it is proved that Sweet wormwood Daodi herb growing in particular geographic regions, has more significant therapeutical effect and higher chemical constituents compared with other same kind of CMM. And also, it has proved the old saying in China that Sweet wormwood Daodi herb which has been used to resolve summerheat-heat and prevent malaria, which distributed in central China. But in modern time, Daodi Sweet wormwood herb mainly has been used to extract artemisinin and prevent malaria, so the Daod-region has transferred to the southern China.

MeSH terms

  • Antimalarials / chemistry*
  • Artemisia annua / chemistry*
  • Artemisinins / chemistry
  • China
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Scopoletin / chemistry
  • Software

Substances

  • Antimalarials
  • Artemisinins
  • Plant Extracts
  • arteannuin B
  • artemisic acid
  • artemisinine
  • Scopoletin

Grant support

This study was supported by the Independent topics of the Chinese Academy of traditional Chinese Medicine (No. zz0708121, 2011zdxk), the Science and technology basic work of science and technology (No. 2013FY114500), and Key project at central government level (No. 2060302). The funders played no role in the design of the study, data collection and analysis or the decision to publish and prepare the manuscript.