Simultaneous Determination of Decursin, Decursinol Angelate, Nodakenin, and Decursinol of Angelica gigas Nakai in Human Plasma by UHPLC-MS/MS: Application to Pharmacokinetic Study

Molecules. 2018 Apr 26;23(5):1019. doi: 10.3390/molecules23051019.


Coumarins in Cham-dang-gwi, the dried root of Angelica gigas Nakai (AGN), possess pharmacological effects on anemia, pain, infection, and articular rheumatism. The AGN root containes decursin (D), decursinol angelate (DA), nodakenin, and decursinol (DOH), a major metabolite of D and DA. The aim of this study was to develop a simultaneous determination method for these four coumarins in human plasma using ultra high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS). Chromatographic separation was performed on dual columns (Kinetex® C18 column and Capcell core C18 column) with mobile phase consisting of water and acetonitrile at a flow rate of 0.3 mL/min using gradient elution. Multiple reaction monitoring was operated in positive ion mode with precursors to product ion transition values of m/z 328.9→228.8, 328.9→228.9, 409.4→248.8, and 246.8→212.9 to measure D, DA, nodakenin, and DOH, respectively. Linear calibration curves were fitted over concentration range of 0.05⁻50 ng/mL for these four components, with correlation coefficient greater than 0.995. Inter- and intra-day accuracies were between 90.60% and 108.24%. These precisions were within 11.19% for all components. The established method was then applied to a pharmacokinetic study for the four coumarins after usual dosing in Korean subjects.

Keywords: UHPLC-MS/MS; decursin; decursinol; decursinol angelate; nodakenin.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Angelica / chemistry*
  • Benzopyrans / blood*
  • Benzopyrans / chemistry
  • Butyrates / blood*
  • Butyrates / chemistry
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Coumarins / blood*
  • Coumarins / chemistry
  • Glucosides / blood*
  • Glucosides / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Molecular Structure
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Plant Extracts / blood
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacokinetics
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Young Adult


  • Benzopyrans
  • Butyrates
  • Coumarins
  • Glucosides
  • Plant Extracts
  • decursin
  • nodakenin