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MPPA 103

Unit 3

General Methods of Analysis and Estimation of Alkaloids

Trainer: Chandramouli R

Introduction Def. & Class.

Def. - a cyclic organic compound containing nitrogen in a negative oxidation state which is of limited distribution among living organisms Most alkaloids have basic properties connected with a heterocyclic tertiary nitrogen 20 000 alkaloids are known, most being isolated from plants Also found in found in microorganisms, marine organisms


classified according to their molecular skeleton two largest groups indole alkaloids and isoquinoline alkaloids (each more than 4000 compounds). tropane alkaloids (~300 compounds), steroidal alkaloids (~450 compounds), Pyridine and pyrrolizidine alkaloids (respectively, ~ 250 and 570 compounds).

Pharmaceutical Applications

alkaloids have strong biological activities in man explained by structural relationship with important neurotransmitters- dopamine, ACh, noradrenaline, and serotonin Alkaloids are water soluble under acidic conditions and lipid soluble under neutral and basic conditions unique - can be transported in the protonated form, and can pass membranes in the neutral form

Some alkaloids of pharmaceutical interest

Methods of estimation

Detection Methods

Dragendorffs reagent (bismuth iodide), Mayers reagent, picric acid, and Reineckes salt All these reagents are more or less specific for protonated tertiary nitrogens (and quarternary nitrogens)

Thin-Layer Chromatography

widely used advantage of molecules with a broad range of polarities being separated in a single analysis does not require extensive sample cleanup of crude drugs

Detection reagents for alkaloids on TLC plates

Liquid Chromatography

important tool RP (C8-, C18-,and phenyl-bonded phases on silica) detection, UV absorption is most widely used. can also be detected by means of their Fluorescence. Some type of alkaloids have poor Uvabsorptive properties, e.g., tropane alkaloids, pyrrolizidine alkaloids, and steroidal alkaloids, necessitating detection at a lower wavelength (200220 nm). Electrochemical detection has been applied for alkaloids, enabling selective detection in the presence of interfering compounds. MS coupled with LC is the most selective detection for alkaloids.

Other Techniques

Capillary Electrophoresis Countercurrent Chromatography Gas Chromatography Spectrometric Techniques

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometry