Ultra-performance liquid chromatography/quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometry analysis of icariside II metabolites in rats

: The possible metabolic pathways of icariside II were proposed. An ultra-performance liquid chromatography/quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometry method was used for analysing the faecal, bile, plasma and urine samples of rats administrated with icariside II. In all, 27 metabolites were identified in the biosamples. Of these, 20, including F1–F12, D3, D4, D6, D7–D9 and M3, M4, were, to our knowledge, reported for the first time. The results indicated that icariside II was metabolised via desugarisation, dehydrogenation, hydrogenation, hydroxylation, demethylation, glucuronidation, dehydration and glycosylation pathways in vivo. Specific hydrolysis of 7-O glucosides in the gut lumen and glucuronic acid conjugation in the liver were considered as the main physiologic processes of icariside II. This study revealed the possible metabolite profiles of icariside II in rats.