We have prepared a monoclonal antibody against notoginsenoside R1, a primary active constituent of Sanqi ginseng (roots of Panax notoginseng). The monoclonal antibody was raised by immunizing BALB/c male mice with notoginsenoside R1-bovine albumin conjugates following cell fusion via electroporation. This method has been shown to be very effective for producing hybridomas with excellent antibody prevalence following cell fusion of their splenocytes with cells of the myeloma cell line SP2/0. Of all the hybridomas secreting a monoclonal antibody against notoginsenoside R1, only the 1A1P cell line produces a highly specific antibody to this compound. Surprisingly, the cross-reactivity of this monoclonal antibody for ginsenoside Rg1 and ginsenoside Re, derivatives of protopanaxatriol, was below 1.02% in a competitive immunoassay. Based on this characteristic of the monoclonal antibody, an indirect competitive ELISA (range of measurement 0.56-9 μg/mL) was established and applied as a quality control method. In conclusion, the developed immunoassay was easy to handle and reliable for the analysis of notoginsenoside R1 in Sanqi ginseng products without requiring a pretreatment.
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