Myocardial lipidomics profiling delineate the toxicity of traditional Chinese medicine Aconiti Lateralis radix praeparata

Yamei Cai, Yue Gao, Guangguo Tan, Si Wu, Xin Dong, Ziyang Lou, Zhenyu Zhu, Yifeng Chai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Ethnopharmacological relevance The lateral root of Aconitum has been popularly used in traditional Chinese medicine (TMC) known as Fuzi which is beneficial for the treatment of various diseases, such as rheumatism, painful joints, syncope and bronchial asthma. However, it has a potential carditoxicity with a relatively narrow margin of safety. Aim of the study This paper was designed to explore the mechanisms of Fuzi's toxicity and find out potential tissue-specific biomarkers of toxic effects. Material and methods A myocardial lipidomics based on ultraperformance lipid chromatography coupled with quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UHPLC/Q-TOF MS) was developed to compare three cardiac lipid extraction methods and investigate the changes of lipids in mice heart of three different dosage groups. In addition, we concurrently inspected the biochemical parameters in plasma, observed the histology of the heart and recorded the electrocardiogram (ECG). Results The cardiotoxicity of Fuzi was dose-dependent, and the high-dose group obviously manifested the heart damage in histology and a certain degree of arrhythmia. Significant changes of 14 lipid metabolites which primarily involved in phospholipid metabolism, sphingolipid metabolism, saturated fatty acid oxidation and unsaturated fatty acid peroxidation were identified and considered as the potential biomarkers of Fuzi toxicity. Conclusion The lipidomics approach is helpful to search potential tissue-specific biomarkers and understand the underlying mechanisms of Fuzi toxicity on the heart.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-356
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 20 May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Chinese medicine
  • Fuzi
  • Multivariate analysis
  • Toxicity
  • Traditional

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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