Preclinical pharmacokinetic study of speciociliatine, a kratom alkaloid, in rats using an UPLC-MS/MS method

J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2021 Feb 5;194:113778. doi: 10.1016/j.jpba.2020.113778. Epub 2020 Nov 21.


Speciociliatine is a minor indole alkaloid found in kratom, a southeast Asian medicinal plant, used for centuries to increase energy, enhance mood, and mitigate pain and opioid dependence. An ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method was developed and validated to quantify speciociliatine in rat plasma. The quantitation range was 3-600 ng/mL. The validated method was applied to a preclinical pharmacokinetic study in male Sprague-Dawley rats after 2.5 mg/kg intravenous (I.V.) and 20 mg/kg oral (P.O.) dosing. The plasma was analyzed to obtain concentration-time profiles and results were subjected to non-compartmental analysis to determine pharmacokinetic parameters including volume of distribution (6.2 ± 2.3 L/kg I.V.), clearance (0.7 ± 0.2 L/hr/kg), and absolute oral bioavailability (20.7 %). Speciociliatine had higher systemic exposure and lower clearance compared to the other kratom alkaloids mitragynine and corynantheidine. The speciociliatine pharmacokinetic parameters described here will help to better understand the overall effects reported with kratom product use.

Keywords: Alkaloids; Kratom; Mitragyna speciosa; Pharmacokinetics; Speciociliatine; UPLC-MS/MS.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Male
  • Mitragyna*
  • Plant Extracts
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Secologanin Tryptamine Alkaloids*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry


  • Plant Extracts
  • Secologanin Tryptamine Alkaloids
  • mitragynine