Chemical Fingerprinting and Hierarchical Clustering Analysis of Centella asiatica from Different Locations in China
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Centella asiatica (L.) Urban is a widely distributed herbaceous plant with great medicinal value that has been extensively used in traditional Chinese medicine. For effective quality control of C. asiatica, a feasible approach and control system is necessary. In this paper, a chemical fingerprint method (column liquid chromatography) was developed for investigating and demonstrating the variance of chemical components among different populations of C. asiatica, from 14 locations in China. The LC data showed considerable variation of chemical constituents among C. asiatica populations. Four chemotypes were visually developed from the chromatographic profiles. The hierarchical clustering analysis further suggested that the samples were divided into four major groups. The grouping of 14 C. asiatica populations in hierarchical clustering analysis was in good agreement with the visual comparison of their chromatograms, as demonstrated by chemotypes. In addition, the bioactive compound asiaticoside in this herb was quantitatively determined by a validated reversed-phase liquid chromatography analysis. Chemotype I was identified as asiaticoside-rich chemotype and exhibited significantly higher amounts of asiaticoside. These findings and results provide a solid basis to establish good agriculture practice and select geo-authentic crude drug for C. asiatica. The established method was considered to be suitable for fingerprint analysis for the quality control of C. asiatica.
KeywordsColumn liquid chromatography Chemical fingerprint Hierarchical clustering analysis Asiaticoside Centella asiatica
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 30572327). We thank Dr. C. J. Zheng, School of Pharmacy, Second Military Medical University, China, for technical assistance.
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