Direct characterization of caffeoyl esters with antihyaluronidase activity in crude extracts from Echinacea angustifolia roots by fast atom bombardment tandem mass spectrometry.


Facino RM, Carini M, Aldini G






Fast atom bombardment (FAB-MS) and fast atom bombardment tandem mass spectrometry (FAB-MS/MS) techniques (negative ions) have been successfully applied for identification of the constituents responsible for the antihyaluronidase activity of Echinacea angustifolia roots, whose extracts are widely employed for the adjuvant therapy of chronic inflammatory diseases. Crude extracts from different solvents were tested for antihyaluronidase activity, and those with the greatest inhibitory action (the ethylacetate, butylacetate and chloroform fractions, IC50 0.44, 0.50 e 0.62 mg/ml) were directly analyzed by MS. Full scan mass spectra produced intense molecular anions: collisional activation of these resulted in tandem mass spectra rich in significant product ions. Four main caffeoyl conjugates were detected and identified by tandem mass spectrometry (daughter and parent ion mode): 2,3-O-dicaffeoyltartaric acid (chicoric acid) and 5-O-dicaffeoylquinic acid (cynarine) and 2-O- caffeoyltartaric acid (caffaric acid) in the ethylacetate fraction. Among these caffeoyl conjugates, chicoric and caftaric acids had the greatest antihyaluronidase activity: IC50 = 0.42 and 0.61 mM, while the IC50 of cynarine and chlorogenic acid were 1.85 and 2.25 mM.