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Graphical abstract Highlights • Five anthocyanidins are identified in Lycium ruthenicum Murray by UPLC-Q-Orbitrap MS. • Five anthocyanins are identified in Lycium ruthenicum Murray by UPLC-Q-Orbitrap MS. • Anthocyanin extracts hanve the activity of anti-gout. • Petunidin-3-glu has the activity of anti-gout. Abstract Lycium ruthenicum Murray (LR) represents an agricultural cash crop found in Northwest China and has been used in traditional folk medicine for a long time. However, detailed qualitative and quantitative analyses of LR anthocyanins, as well as their pharmacological research, remain scarce. In this work, we established a rapid method for the simultaneous identification and quantification of six anthocyanidins and six anthocyanins from LR via UPLC-quadrupole-Orbitrap mass spectrometry (UPLC-Q-Orbitrap MS) analysis. Finally, five anthocyanidins and five anthocyanins were qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed. Among these, 10 constituents (delphinidin-3-glu, cyanidin-3-glu, petunidin-3-glu, peonidin-3-glu, malvidin-3-glu, delphinidin, cyanidin, petunidin, pelargonidin and malvidin) were detected and petunidin-3-glu proved to be the predominant species in LR. Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory effects of anthocyanin extracts and petunidin-3-glu were investigated using a rat model involving gouty arthritis induced by monosodium urate. The levels of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-18 (IL-18), prostaglandin E2 (PE2), cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) enzymes in serum, the paw COX-1 mRNA expression and paw volume could be determined to be significantly increased in rats suffering from gouty arthritis induced by monosodium urate. However, these indicators were found to be significantly reduced after treatment with anthocyanin extracts (200 mg/kg b.wt, p.o.) and petunidin-3-glu (40 mg/kg b.wt, p.o.). Taken in concert, our study shows that anthocyanin extracts and petunidin-3-glu may significantly reduce monosodium urate crystal-induced inflammation. Use and administration of these compounds may be potentially valuable for the further development and clinical applicability of the active compounds in this plant.

Lycium ruthenicum Murr. (LR) is a perennial shrub commonly used as a nutritional food and medicine. Herein, we identified 12 anthocyanins from LR, with petunidin derivatives constituting approximately 97% of the total anthocyanin content. Furthermore, the potential mechanism of anthocyanins exerting neuroprotective effects in d-galactose (d-gal)-treated rats was explored. Behavioral results showed that anthocyanins relieved d-gal-induced memory disorder. Additionally, anthocyanins reduced receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) and suppressed oxidative stress caused by d-gal. Anthocyanins suppressed microgliosis and astrocytosis and reduced the overexpression of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), interleukin-1-β (IL-1β), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). Moreover, anthocyanins lowered C-jun N-terminal kinase ( p-JNK), caspase-3 levels, and the B-cell lymphoma 2-associated X protein/B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bax/Bcl-2) ratio. Thus, anthocyanins from LR attenuated memory disfunction, neuroinflammation, and neurodegeneration caused by d-gal, possibly through the RAGE/NF-κB/JNK pathway, representing a promising, safe candidate for prevention and therapy of neurodegenerative diseases.

• Simultaneously identified and quantified 18 phenolic compounds from LR fruit by UPLC-Q-Orbitrap MS. • Catechin, naringenin and 9 phenolic acids are the first time to conduct qualitative and quantitative analysis in LR. • Total phenolics content and total anthocyanin content were determined. • The antioxidant activities in vitro of the LR were also evaluated.<br><b>Lycium ruthenicum</b> Murray (LR) is a functional food, and it has long been used in traditional folk medicine. However, detailed qualitative and quantitative analyses related to its phenolic compounds remains scarce. This work reports, for the first time, the establishment of a rapid method for simultaneous identification and quantification of 25 phenolic compounds by UPLC-quadrupole-Orbitrap mass spectrometry (UPLC-Q-Orbitrap MS). This method was validated by LODs, LOQs, precision, repeatability, stability, mean recovery, recovery range and RSD. The confirmed method was applied to the analysis of phenolic compounds in LR. Finally, 18 phenolic compounds in LR were qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed. Among them, 11 constituents were detected for the first time, which included two flavonoids (catechin and naringenin) and seven phenolic acids (gallic acid, vanillic acid, 2,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid, veratronic acid, benzoic acid, ellagic acid and salicylic acid). Moreover, Phloretin and protocatechuate, belonging to the dihydrochalcone flavonoid and protocatechuic acid respectively, were also identified and quantified. The total phenolics content (20.17 ± 2.82 mg/g) and the total anthocyanin content (147.43 ± 1.81 mg/g) were determined. In addition, the antioxidant activities of the LR extract were evaluated through 2,2-azinobis (3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS) radical scavenging activity, ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and total antioxidant activity (T-AOC) assays.