Pharmacokinetics and oral bioavailability of epimedin C after oral administration of epimedin C and Herba Epimedii extract in rats

Chia Jung Lee, Yu Tse Wu, Thomas Y. Hsueh, Lie Chwen Lin, Tung Hu Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Epimedin C, an ingredient of Herba Epimedii, has potential for treatment of cardiovascular disease and bone loss. However, there is still no sensitive analytical method to monitor epimedin C in biological samples. The goal of this study was to develop a sensitive and reliable method based on a LC-MS/MS for evaluating the pharmacokinetics of epimedin C after administration of Herba Epimedii in rat. Electrospray ionization in positive-ion mode and multiple reaction monitoring were used to identify and quantitate active components. Analytes were separated by a reverse-phase C18 column. Liquid-liquid extraction using ethyl acetate, evaporation and reconstitution was used to plasma sample preparation. Mass transition of precursor ion→product ion pairs were monitored at m/z 823.4→313.1 for epimedin C and m/z 237.1→178.9 for carbamazepine (internal standard). A calibration curve gave good linearity (r>0.999) over the concentration range 2.5-500ng/mL. Pharmacokinetic data demonstrated that there was rapid distribution and slow elimination after epimedin C administration (1mg/kg, i.v.). Oral bioavailabilities of epimedin C in the pure compound and in the Herba Epimedii were around 0.58% and 0.13%, respectively. The result suggests that other herbal ingredients of Herba Epimedii may suppress the oral bioavailability of epimedin C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)630-636
Number of pages7
JournalBiomedical Chromatography
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioavailability
  • Epimedin C
  • Epimedium davidii Franch
  • Herbal medicine
  • Traditional chinese medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology


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