Wed, 30 Nov 2022
Events, Seminar Series

Dr. Edward Kennelly

City University of New York

Modernization of traditional Chinese medicines using an LC-MS metabolomics approach.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022
SSB 7172 @ 3:30 p.m.

Host: Dr. Roger Linington



Aconitum, a genus of plants in the Ranunculaceae (buttercup family), is used in different traditional medicine systems around the world, often for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. In traditional Chinese medicine, Aconitum carmichaelii (monkshood) has been used for thousands of years, and the bioactivity has been associated mainly with its diterpenoid alkaloid content. While these alkaloids have been shown to have potent useful bioactivity, some diester derivatives are infamous cardiotoxins. Despite their similar medicinal use, North American Aconitum species have not been as thoroughly studied in terms of chemistry or bioactivity. The long-term goal of our research is to identify, characterize, and quantify therapeutic components in plants used in traditional medicine systems as sources of new drugs. This seminar will discuss our metabolomics-based research on Asian Aconitum and our recent examination of closely related North America Aconitum species, including species found in British Columbia. Our initial studies on Aconitum showed significant variation in chemical structures and amounts of selected diterpenoid alkaloids, and we have identified two diterpenoid alkaloids, fuziline and neoline, from Asian A. carmichaelii as having analgesic activity without being cardiotoxic. We hypothesize that a small group of diterpenoid alkaloids in North American Aconitum species will have useful drug lead properties without the concomitant cardiotoxicity. In addition, these metabolomics studies can help to identify Aconitum marker compounds that may help to avoid the adulteration of botanicals, like the recent case in Burnaby of Aconitum being misbranded as sand ginger, which resulted in several people being poisoned.