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A strategy for quality control of Menispermum dauricum DC based on cytotoxic activity and hplc fingerprint analysis

Author(s): LJ Liu, JN Liu
Department of Pharmaceutical Engineering, Heilongjiang University, Harbin, 150080, China

Correspondence Address:
L J Liu Department of Pharmaceutical Engineering, Heilongjiang University, Harbin, 150080, China E-mail:

The rhizome of Menispermum dauricumDC known as a traditional Chinese medicine, with high content of alkaloids, has been found to possess antitumor activity. In this research, an attempt to correlate fingerprinting with bioactivity was made for quality control of M. dauricum. Firstly, the cytotoxicity of extracts from ten batches of samples against human breast MCF-7 cancer cells was estimated by [3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazole-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazoliumbromide] assay. Then, cytotoxic activity-integrated fingerprints were established by high performance liquid chromatography. Eight peaks were selected as the common peaks to evaluate the similarities of samples and hierarchical clustering analysis was used to identify and classify different samples into groups. Assays for determinations of total alkaloids and dauricine contents enabled cytotoxicity coefficient of each extract. The potential usefulness of employing cytotoxicity coefficient was investigated by a combination of Pearson correlation coefficients and multiple linear regression analysis as being the reliable parameter to evaluate the herbal extracts. The results indicated that the level of dauricine (peak 8 in the fingerprint) correlated closely with cytotoxicity and played a significant role in the cytotoxicity of Bei Dou-Gen and could be related to its antitumor properties. It is proposed that the cytotoxicity coefficient value with a cytotoxic activity-integrated fingerprint of key biomarkers (dauricine) may be useful indicators to adopt for the quality control of M. dauricum. The analysis of cytotoxic-activity-integrated fingerprint could correlate fingerprinting with bioactivities and would provide a reasonable strategy for quality control of complex mixture of herbal medicines.

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