Liquid chromatography/mass spectrometric analysis of rat samples for in vivo metabolism and pharmacokinetic studies of ginsenoside Rh2

Author(s): Qian T, Cai Z, Wong RN, Jiang ZH


In vivo metabolism and pharmacokinetic studies on rat were conducted for ginsenoside Rh2, one of the components from ginseng that shows promise of anticancer activity. Liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) with electrospray ionization were used to determine Rh2 and its metabolites in rat plasma, urine and feces. An average half-life of 16 min in plasma was obtained after intravenous administration to male Sprague-Dawley rats at 5 mg/kg. No Rh2 was detected in plasma samples collected from 0 to 24 h following oral administration at 100 mg/kg, and only 0.12-0.25% of the dosed amount was found in the feces samples collected from 0 to 48 h after oral administration at 100 mg/kg. Three metabolites of Rh2 were detected in the feces samples. Oxygenation and deglycosylation were found to be the major metabolic pathways of Rh2. Intense metabolism, rather than excretion, appears to be the reason for the fast clearance of this ginsenoside.

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