, Volume 6, Issue 2-3, pp 207-234
Date: 13 Mar 2007

Analysis of Catharanthus roseus alkaloids by HPLC

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Catharanthus roseus is a medicinal plant from which secondary metabolites used in chemotherapy to treat diverse cancers are extracted. The well known high value metabolites vincristine and vinblastine are just 2 of 130 alkaloids that can be found in C. roseus. However, only few (∼11) of this high number of chemical entities are frequently analyzed and even fewer (∼8) are available commercially. For more than 30 years, different analytical techniques have been developed to isolate and identify C. roseus metabolites, and then allowing revealing the therapeutic potential of C. roseus metabolites. Among few approaches, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) technique is still widely used for the separation and analysis of secondary metabolites such as those from C. roseus. This article thus reviews the most recent developments in HPLC analysis of alkaloids from C. roseus. Diverse considerations that are crucial to the efficiency of secondary metabolites separation and identification steps, such as biomass manipulation, extraction phase and protocols, HPLC separation and analysis protocols are reviewed in details. Examples of spectra obtained using the most common detectors are also shown and suggestions are made on how to proceed in developing efficient separation and identification methods at the analytical and semi-preparative scales.