Background: As the Panacis Japonici Rhizoma contains high content of saponins and most of
the major saponins in this herb contain 2 to 4 units of saccharide, which made them very difficult to be
purified in normal or reversed phase column chromatography.
Method: In this study, all analyses were performed on an Agilent 1200 series HPLC instrument and a
Waters 2695 liquid chromatography. Both an Agilent Eclipse XDB-C18 column (4.6 mmx150 mm, 5μm)
and an Agilent Eclipse Plus C18 column (4.6 mmx150 mm, 5 μm) were used. The mobile phase consisted
of water containing 0.05% trifluoroacetic acid (pH 2.3) (A) and acetonitrile (B). The saponins were monitored
at 203 nm.
Result: Chikusetsusaponin IVa was used as the internal constituent to calculate the relative correction
factors (RCF) with other five constituents, respectively. The results showed that RCFs of all compounds
with good reproducibility (RSD<5.0%) were obtained on different chromatography instruments. The
content of the other five constituents was calculated with the RCF and the external standard (ES) method,
respectively. Comparing the results obtained by these two methods, the QAMS is found to have no statistically
significant difference as verified by the relative error < 2% and p > 0.05 of the paired t-test.
Conclusion: The QAMS method established in this research for simultaneous determination of the six
triterpenoid saponins including ginsenoside Rg1, ginsenoside Rb1, chikusetsusaponin V, pseudoginsenoside
RT1, chikusetsusaponin IV and chikusetsusaponin IVa is simple and feasible to evaluate the quality
of Panacis Japonici Rhizoma.