Establishment of a quantitative and qualitative analysis and isolation method for tetracyclic iridoids from Morinda lucida Bentham leaves

J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2019 Feb 5;164:475-480. doi: 10.1016/j.jpba.2018.10.044. Epub 2018 Oct 29.


A new high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method has been established for quantitative and qualitative analysis of three tetracyclic iridoids: ML-2-3 (1), molucidin (2), and ML-F52 (3), which are responsible for anti-trypanosomal and anti-leishmanial activities of Morinda lucida Bentham leaves. Separation of 1-3 from dried 80% aqueous (aq.) ethanol extract was achieved on a reversed-phase cholester column packed with cholesteryl-bonded silica using an acetonitrile-0.1% aq. formic acid mobile phase system. Ultraviolet-visible (UV-VIS) spectroscopy was employed for detection of compounds, and their contents were determined by measuring absorbance at 254 nm. Depending on the above system, several factors potentially affecting the concentration of tetracyclic iridoids were evaluated resulting in several variation on plant organs, seasonality, variation between individual trees, and branch positions within the trees. Moreover, we developed a simple, quick, and effective method for tetracyclic iridoid isolation from M. lucida leaves that consisted of extraction by sonication into 80% aq. ethanol, basic hydrolysis, acid neutralization, liquid-liquid extraction into an organic solvent, and reverse phase open column chromatography. Employing this method, we have succeeded to obtain 1 as a colorless crystal yielding of 0.23%, which was 28 times higher than that of previous isolation method. Setting up methodology in this paper may be important for future in vitro and in vivo studies of tetracyclic iridoids and moreover for their applications in new drug design and development.

Keywords: Anti-leishmania; Anti-trypanosoma; Isolation; Morinda lucida; Quantitative analysis; Tetracyclic iridoids.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Chemical Fractionation / instrumentation
  • Chemical Fractionation / methods*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / instrumentation
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods
  • Drug Design
  • Iridoids / analysis
  • Iridoids / chemistry
  • Iridoids / isolation & purification
  • Iridoids / pharmacology*
  • Morinda / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / analysis
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Qualitative Research
  • Solvents / chemistry
  • Trypanocidal Agents / analysis
  • Trypanocidal Agents / chemistry
  • Trypanocidal Agents / isolation & purification
  • Trypanocidal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Trypanosoma / drug effects


  • Iridoids
  • Plant Extracts
  • Solvents
  • Trypanocidal Agents