Iridoid and phenylethanoid/phenylpropanoid metabolite profiles of Scrophularia and Verbascum species used medicinally in North America

Metabolomics. 2017 Nov;13(11):133. doi: 10.1007/s11306-017-1272-1. Epub 2017 Oct 3.


Introduction: Botanicals containing iridoid and phenylethanoid/phenylpropanoid glycosides are used worldwide for the treatment of inflammatory musculoskeletal conditions that are primary causes of human years lived with disability (YLDs), such as arthritis and lower back pain.

Objectives: We report the analysis of candidate anti-inflammatory metabolites of several endemic Scrophularia species and Verbascum thapsus used medicinally by peoples of North America.

Methods: Leaves, stems, and roots were analyzed by ultra-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS) and partial least squares-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) was performed in MetaboAnalyst 3.0 after processing the datasets in Progenesis QI.

Results: Comparison of the datasets revealed significant and differential accumulation of iridoid and phenylethanoid/phenylpropanoid glycosides in the tissues of the endemic Scrophularia species and Verbascum thapsus.

Conclusions: Our investigation identified several species of pharmacological interest as good sources for harpagoside and other important anti-inflammatory metabolites.

Keywords: Harpagoside; Scrophularia; Verbascum; iridoid; phenylethanoid/phenylpropanoid; verbascoside.