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This study presents an efficient strategy based on liquid-liquid extraction, high-speed counter-current chromatography, and preparative HPLC for the rapid enrichment, separation, and purification of four anthraquinones from Rheum tanguticum. A new solvent system composed of petroleum ether/ethyl acetate/water (4:2:1, v/v/v) was developed for the liquid-liquid extraction of the crude extract from R. tanguticum. As a result, emodin, aloe-emodin, physcion, and chrysophanol were greatly enriched in the organic layer. In addition, an efficient method was successfully established to separate and purify the above anthraquinones by high-speed counter-current chromatography and preparative HPLC. This study supplies a new alternative method for the rapid enrichment, separation, and purification of emodin, aloe-emodin, physcione, and chrysophanol.
In this paper, an efficient method was successfully established by the combination of macroporous resin (MR) and high-speed counter-current chromatography (HSCCC) for rapid enrichment and separation of aloe-emodin 8-O-β-D-glucoside, emodin 1-O-β-D-glucoside, emodin 8-O-β-D-glucoside and piceatannol 4'-O-β-D-(6″-O-gallate)-glucoside. Six kinds of macroporous resins were investigated in the first step and X-5 macroporous resin was selected for the enrichment of the target compounds. The recoveries of the target compounds reached 89.0, 85.9, 82.3 and 84.9% respectively after 40% ethanol elution. In the second step, the target compounds were separated by HSCCC with a two-phase solvent system composed of chloroform/ethyl acetate/methanol/water (8:1:6:5, v/v). The established method will be helpful for further characterization and utilization of Rheum tanguticum. The results demonstrate that MR coupled with HSCCC is a powerful technique for separation of bioactive compounds from natural products.
Anthraquinone glycosides, such as chrysophanol 1-O-β-d-glucoside, chrysophanol 8-O-β-d-glucoside, and physion 8-O-β-d-glucoside, are the accepted important active components of Rheum tanguticum Maxim. ex Balf. due to their pharmacological properties: antifungal, antimicrobial, cytotoxic, and antioxidant activities. However, an effective method for the separation of the above-mentioned anthraquinone glycosides from this herb is not currently available. Especially, greater difficulty existed in the separation of the two isomers chrysophanol 1-O-β-d-glucoside and chrysophanol 8-O-β-d-glucoside. This study demonstrated an efficient strategy based on preparative high-performance liquid chromatography and high-speed countercurrent chromatography for the separation of the above-mentioned anthraquinone glycosides from Rheum tanguticum Maxim.ex Balf.