This paper was designed to study metabonomic characters of the hepatotoxicity induced by alcohol and the intervention effects of Yin Chen Hao Tang (YCHT), a classic traditional Chinese medicine formula for treatment of jaundice and liver disorders in China. Urinary samples from control, alcohol- and YCHT-treated rats were analyzed by ultra-performance liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization quadruple time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC/ESI-QTOF-MS) in positive ionization mode. The total ion chromatograms obtained from the control, alcohol- and YCHT-treated rats were easily distinguishable using a multivariate statistical analysis method such as the principal components analysis (PCA). The greatest difference in metabolic profiling was observed from alcohol-treated rats compared with the control and YCHT-treated rats. The positive ions m/z 664.3126 (9.00 min) was elevated in urine of alcohol-treated rats, whereas, ions m/z 155.3547 (10.96 min) and 708.2932 (9.01 min) were at a lower concentration compared with that in urine of control rats, however, these ions did not indicate a statistical difference between control rats and YCHT-treated rats. The ion m/z 664.3126 was found to correspond to ceramide (d18:1/25:0), providing further support for an involvement of the sphingomyelin signaling pathway in alcohol hepatotoxicity and the intervention effects of YCHT. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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