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Objective: To establish an HPLC-ELSD fingerprint of the whole herbs of Morina nepalensis and perform the correlation analysis of chemical components of the herb and nitric oxide (NO) production inhibition.; Method: HPLC-ELSD assay was performed to evaluate 10 batches of M. nepalensis herbs. The chromatographic conditions were as following: Eclipse XDB C18 column (4.6 mm x 150 mm, 5 microm), water (A) and acetonitrile (B) as a gradient mobile phases, flow rate 1.0 mL x min(-1), and column temperature at 35 degress C. Evaporative light-detection conditions: atomization temperature at 104 degrees C, the flow rate of N2 2.8 L x min(-1) and 10 microL sample injection. Chromatographic fingerprint was developed, and the inhibition activity of production of NO in lipopolysaccharide-induced macrophages was also analyzed. The similarity and correlation analysis between the HPLC-ELSD fingerprints and NO production inhibition were carried out by PLS method.; Result: The common mode for M. nepalensis herb fingerprint was established, including 15 common characteristic peaks. Among them, 7 peaks were positively correlated with the NO production inhibition. According to the assessment on the similarity of 10 batches of samples, a similarity of over 0.90 were shown in HPLC-ELSD fingerprint and all samples were separated into two groups.; Conclusion: This method can be used to assess the quality of M. nepalensis, which provides a reliable method for scientific assessment and quality control.;

Zuotais regarded as the king of Tibetan medicine. However, the major starting material ofZuotais mercury, which is one very toxic heavy metal. This has aroused serious doubts on the biosafety ofZuotacontaining drugs. In this study, we quantified the Hg contents in fourZuotasamples, monitored the release of Hg in simulated gastric/intestinal juice and evaluated their cytotoxicity to Caco-2 cells. Our results showed that the Hg contents inZuotasamples were in the range of 566–676 mg/g. Fortunately, the release of Hg fromZuotasamples was very low in simulated gastric juice, and much lower in simulated intestinal juice. Direct contact ofZuotawith Caco-2 cells led to dose-dependent cytotoxicity, including activity loss and membrane leakage. The toxicity was closely related to apoptosis, because the caspase 3/7 levels of Caco-2 cells increased after the exposure toZuota. Interestingly,Zuotasamples inhibited the oxidative stress at low concentrations, but the toxicity could be relived by antioxidants. The possible toxicity should be attributed to the cellular uptake ofZuotaparticulates. Beyond the cytotoxicity, significant differences amongZuotasamples from different institutions were observed, suggesting that the preparation process ofZuotahad meaningful influence of its biosafety. The implications to the safety and clinical applications ofZuotaare discussed. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]