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This study aims to identify and quantify the six major bioactive flavones of the traditional Chinese medicine Scutellariae Radix (RS), including baicalein, baicalin, wogonin, wogonoside, oroxylin A and oroxyloside in rat after oral administration of a standardized RS extract. A novel, sensitive and selective method for simultaneous determination of these six analytes in rat brain and plasma using solid phase extraction-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (SPE-LC/MS/MS) was developed and fully validated. The lower limits of quantification (LLOQs) for the six RS flavones in brain tissue were 0.02nmol/g. The LLOQs in plasma were 0.005nmol/ml for B, W and OA, 0.025nmol/ml for WG and OAG, and 0.1875nmol/ml for BG. The current study provides novel evidence of the presence of all the tested RS flavones and an isoform of BG (BG', probably baicalein-6-O-glucuronide) in the rat brain after oral administration of RS extract, suggesting their ability to permeate through the blood-brain barrier. The method was also successfully applied to the pharmacokinetic study of all these analytes in plasma after oral administration of RS extract (300mg/kg) to Sprague-Dawley rats. The developed assay method provides a useful tool for both preclinical and clinical investigations on the disposition of RS flavones in brain and plasma.
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Laboratory rat, Oroxylum indicum, Phase, Baicalein, Wogonin, Rat, Brain, Flavones
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