Comparative Analysis of the Bufonis Venenum by Using TLC, HPLC, and LC-MS for Different Extraction Methods

  • Lee, Hyo-Jae (East-West Cancer Center, Dunsan Oriental Hospital of Daejeon University) ;
  • Koung, Fan-Pei (Integrative Medicine Program, Department of General Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center) ;
  • Kwon, Ki-Rok (Korean Pharmacopuncture Institute) ;
  • Kang, Dae-In (Korean Pharmacopuncture Institute) ;
  • Cohen, Lorenzo (Integrative Medicine Program, Department of General Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center) ;
  • Yang, Pei-Ying (Integrative Medicine Program, Department of General Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center) ;
  • Yoo, Hwa-Seung (East-West Cancer Center, Dunsan Oriental Hospital of Daejeon University)
  • Received : 2012.10.22
  • Accepted : 2012.10.31
  • Published : 2012.12.31


Objectives: Toad venom, called Chan-Su, is a traditional Oriental medicine secreted from the auricular and the skin glands of the Bufo bufo gargarizanz Cantor or B. melanosticus Schneider and has been widely used in China, Korea and other parts of Asia for the treatment of pain, heart conditions, and cancer. We examined the concentrations of the main chemical constituents within a commercially available toad venom product and compared the levels for different extraction methods. Methods: Toad venom was extracted using either cold or hot water, ethanol (EtOH), methanol (MeOH), or ethyl acetate (EtOAc), was fractionated using precipitation or reflux, and was then analyzed using thin layer chromatography (TLC), high-performance liquid chromatography (HTLC), and liquid chroma-tography - mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Individual components were identified by comparisons of the retention times, the ultraviolet spectra, and mass spectras and differences in chemical constituents for different solvents and extraction methods are presented. Results: Components with authentic standards, including serotonin and bufodienolides (cinobufagen, bufalin, cinobufalin, and resibufogenin), were detected. The water extract of toad venom contained the greatest amount of serotonin ($75.7{\pm}0.1$ mg/g), but very small amounts of bufodienolides ($3.8{\pm}0.0$ mg/g). In contrast, the use of MeOH or EtOH extraction solutions resulted in 5-26 times higher concentrations of bufodienolides, with only trace amounts of serotonin. The relative and the absolute concentrations of the component also varied based on the extraction method; i.e., EtOH extracts yielded the greatest total amounts of bufodienolides, and EtOAc precipitation had the lowest amounts of bufodienolides. Conclusions: Toad venom consists of serotonin and several bufodienolides, and the choice of solvent to extract chemical the constituents is important as a way to enrich the purported active components for treating different conditions.


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