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Keywords:

  • Liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry;
  • segmental multiple reaction monitoring profiles;
  • Stellera chamaejasme;
  • Euphorbia ebracteolata;
  • Euphorbia fischeriana

Abstract

An LC-MS/MS method has been developed for the identification of three species of herb used as the traditional Chinese medicine Langdu, namely Stellera chamaejasme L., Euphorbia ebracteolata Hayata and E. fischeriana Steud. As these herbs contain different mixtures of marker compounds, they could be unambiguously differentiated from each other by comparing their respective characteristic segmental multiple reaction monitoring profiles. The profiles indicated that S. chamaejasme contained daphnetin, skimmetine, stellerin, chamaechromone and neochamaejasmin, E. fischeriana contained ebracteolata compound B, ingenol, jolkinolide B and fischeriana A, whilst E. ebracteolata contained ebracteolata compounds B and C along with ingenol. These results were confirmed from the respective MS/MS spectra. The method has been successfully applied to differentiate these herbs from the related species Alocasia macrorrhiza (L.) Schott and E. kansui Liou. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.