Metformin Uptake and Translocation in Chickpeas: Determination Using Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry

ACS Omega. 2020 Jan 22;5(4):1789-1795. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.9b02783. eCollection 2020 Feb 4.


Multiple chronic conditions (MCCs) such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, arthritis, asthma, and common respiratory problems are prevalent in over one-fourth of Americans, and separate drugs are prescribed to manage each of the diseases. The nutritive crop seeds loaded with multiple drugs could be a cheap and sustainable alternative to drugs produced by pharmaceutical companies. Our long-term goal is to produce chickpea seeds containing comparable dosages of multiple drugs regularly prescribed for managing MCC. In this work, we conducted experiments to understand the uptake and translocation of metformin into the tissues of chickpea to demonstrate the applicability of LC-HR-ToF-MS in determining metformin concentration, and to investigate responses of increased dosage of metformin and it's accumulation into the chickpea seed. We treated the chickpea plants with 100 and 500 mg/L metformin chloride and analyzed its concentration in the leaf, stem, and seeds. We observed that metformin was successfully uptaken by chickpeas plant and translocated to stem, leaf, and seeds in both treatments. We also observed that the metformin concentration is responsive and as high as 349 times increase in seed when the dosage was increased from 100 to 500 mg/L.