• Preparative separation;
  • Cis-rhapontin;
  • Trans-desoxyrhaponticin;
  • Trans-rhapontin;
  • Rheum tanguticum Maxim. ex Balf



Stilbene glycosides are the primary constituents of Rheum tanguticum Maxim. ex Balf., to which different bioactivities has been attributed, including: anti-HIV, anti-oxidant, anti-tumour, anti-malarial, and anti-allergy activity. However, effective methods for the isolation and purification of stilbene glycosides, such as trans-rhapontin, cis-rhapontin and trans-desoxyrhaponticin, from this herb are not currently available.


To develop an efficient method for the preparative isolation and purification of three stilbene glycosides from Rheum tanguticum Maxim. ex Balf. via high-speed counter-current chromatography (HSCCC).


A solvent system composed of chloroform:n-butanol:methanol:water (4:1:3:2, v/v/v/v) was developed for the separation. The upper phase was used as the stationary phase, and the lower phase was used as the mobile phase. The flow rate was 1.8 mL/min. The apparatus was controlled at 800 rpm and 25 °C, and the effluent was monitored at 280 nm. Chemical constituents were analysed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and their structures were identified by 1 H- and 13C-NMR.


Under the optimised conditions, 25.5 mg trans-rhapontin, 16.0 mg cis-rhapontin and 20.5 mg trans-desoxyrhaponticin were separated from 80 mg crude sample; the isolates had purities of 99.6, 97.2 and 99.2%, respectively.


A simple and efficient HSCCC method has been optimised for the preparative separation of stilbene glycosides from Rheum tanguticum Maxim. ex Balf. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.