Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research

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Characterization and identification of in vitro metabolites of (-)-epicatechin using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry

Rui Jun Cai, Xiao Ling Yin, Jing Liu, Da Xu Qin, Gui Zhen Zhao


Purpose: To characterize and identify metabolites of (-)-epicatechin in microsomal fraction of rat hepatocytes (MFRHs).
Methods: A single incubation of (-)-epicatechin (1 mL, 50 µg/mL) in MFRH (0.5 mg/mL) was used for the generation of metabolites. Thereafter, the sample was subjected to protein precipitation prior to analysis with ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled to linear ion-trap orbitrap mass spectrometry (UHPLC-LTQ-Orbitap MS).
Results: Nine metabolites of (-)-epicatechin were characterized on the basis of high resolution mass measurement, MS spectra and literature data. Based on their structures, the major metabolic routes of (-)-epicatechin in MFRHs were identified as hydroxylation, dihydroxylation and glycosylation.
Conclusion: This is the first report on metabolites of (-)-epicatechin in MFRHs, and it is helpful in gaining deeper insight into the metabolism of (-)-epicatechin in vivo. The results will also provide guidance in research on the pharmacokinetics of new drugs.

Keywords: (-)-Epicatechin, Metabolites, Hydroxylation, Dihydroxylation, Glycosylation, Rat liver microsomes, Pharmacokinetic studies
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