Journal of Natural Medicines

, Volume 72, Issue 2, pp 424–432 | Cite as

Enhanced ultrasound-assisted enzymatic hydrolysis extraction of quinolizidine alkaloids from Sophora alopecuroides L. seeds

  • Hanqing Wang
  • Yue Tong
  • Wei LiEmail author
  • Xia Zhang
  • Xiaojuan Gao
  • Jingjiao Yong
  • Jianjun Zhao
  • Kazuo Koike
Original Paper


Quinolizidine alkaloids are the main bioactive components in Sophora alopecuroides L. This study reports a novel ultrasound-assisted enzymatic hydrolysis method for the extraction of these important alkaloids. Box–Behnken design, a widely used response surface methodology, was used to investigate the effects of process variables on ultrasound bath-assisted enzymatic hydrolysis (UAEH) extraction. Four independent variables, pH, extraction temperature (°C), extraction time (min) and solvent-to-material ratio (mL/g), were studied. For the extraction of sophocarpine, oxysophocarpine, oxymatrine, matrine, sophoramine, sophoridine and cytisine, the optimal UAEH condition was found to be a pH of 5, extraction temperature of 54 °C, extraction time of 60 min and solvent-to-material ratio of 112 mL/g. The experimental values obtained under optimal conditions were fairly consistent with the predicted values. UAEH extraction was then compared with reflux heating, enzymatic extraction and ultrasound-assisted extraction. Of these extraction methods, UAEH extraction under optimal conditions produced the highest yield for seven types of alkaloids. In addition, UAEH extraction resulted in lower ingredient degradation than reflux heating extraction.


Ultrasound bath-assisted enzymatic hydrolysis Quinolizidine alkaloids Response surface methodology Sophora alopecuroides L. HILIC–UHPLC–TQ-MS/MS 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 81460645, no. 81603227), and the Special Talents Foundation of Ningxia Medical University (no. XT201408).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Supplementary material

11418_2017_1165_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (704 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 704 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Pharmacognosy and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of PharmacyNingxia Medical UniversityYinchuanChina
  2. 2.Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesToho UniversityFunabashiJapan
  3. 3.Ningxia Research Center of Modern Hui Medicine Engineering and TechnologyNingxia Medical UniversityYinchuanChina
  4. 4.Key Laboratory of Hui Ethnic Medicine Modernization, Ministry of EducationNingxia Medical UniversityYinchuanChina

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