High performance thin-layer chromatography-mass spectrometry methods on diol stationary phase for the analyses of flavan-3-ols and proanthocyanidins in invasive Japanese knotweed.
We developed the first four HPTLC methods for the separation of proanthocyanidins according to degree of polymerization on HPTLC diol F254S plates. Acetonitrile, ethyl acetate, ethyl acetate-formic acid (9:0.1, v/v) and toluene-acetone-formic acid (3:6:1, v/v) were used as developing solvents and 4-dimethylaminocinnamaldehyde (DMACA) as the detection reagent. Each of these methods enables separation of standards of procyanidin dimers from procyanidin trimer (procyanidin C1) and separation of B-type dimers (procyanidins B1, B2, B3) from A-type dimers (procyanidins A1, A2). Based on these HPTLC methods we developed four new HPTLC-MS/MS methods for analyses of proanthocyanidins on HPTLC diol F254S plates and we identified B-type proanthocyanidins from monomers up to decamers in crude extracts of invasive Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica Houtt., Polygonum cuspidatum Sieb. & Zucc.) rhizomes. Monomers, monomer gallates, dimers, dimer gallates, dimer digallates, trimers, trimer gallates, tetramers, tetramer gallates, pentamers, pentamer gallates, hexamers, hexamer gallates, heptamers, octamers, nonamers and decamers were tentatively identified in Japanese knotweed rhizomes using developing solvents acetonitrile and toluene-acetone-formic acid (3:6:1, v/v). Ethyl acetate enabled separation from monomers up to hexamer gallates and ethyl acetate-formic acid (9:0.1, v/v) from monomers up to hexamers. During the five hours of stability testing of (-)-epicatechin and procyanidin B2 standards on HPTLC diol plates developed with all solvents we observed enhanced absorption at 280 nm. This was a totally unexpected phenomenon. This new discovery confirmed what we reported in our previous study on HPTLC silica gel. Enhanced absorption is influenced by the developing solvent (more than 30%), the stationary phase (up to 24%) and the light (up to 15%).