Moutan Cortex (MC) has been demonstrated to have an inhibitive effect on inflammation and oxidative stress responses in mesangial cells in our previous study. However, little is known about the components of MC contributing to this benefit. In the present study, cell membrane immobilized chromatography (CMC), a fast and useful method, was presented for screening potential active components of MC. HBZY-1 cells were incubated with MC (200 μg/mL) at the optimal incubation time (90 min). HPLC-DAD analysis and LC/ESI/MS/MS were performed to distinguish the active components and identify its structural ion fragments. The results showed that eight components binding to HBZY-1 cells were mudanoside B, paeoniflorin sulfonate, paeoniflorin, tetragalloyl glucose (isomeride), hexagalloyl glucose, mudanopiside A, and paeonol. In conclusion, our established CMC might be a useful method for screening potential active components in complicated traditional Chinese medicines. These components might be associated with the efficacy of MC on prevention and treatment of diabetic nephropathy.
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