Field ionization mass spectrometry—III: Cardenolides

Peter Brown, Fred Brüschweiler, George Pettit, T. Reichstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


The electron impact (EI) and field ionization (FI) mass spectra of some representative underivatized cardenolides have been studied together for the first time, with the objective of assessing the structural and in particular the sequence information afforded by this promising analytical method. Two series of cardenolides have been examined, each consisting of a mono‐, di‐ and trisaccharide glycoside. The first was based on the aglycone digitoxigenin and comprised neriifolin, thevebioside and cerberoside; the second was based on the genin strophantidin and included cymarin, K‐strophantin‐β and K‐strophantoside. Other cardiac glycosides investigated and discussed include digitoxin and helveticoside. Important and structurally diagnostic fragmentations have been uncovered, especially in FI mode. In addition, the EI and FI spectra of individual components of the cardenolides have been recorded, e.g. the genins digitoxigenin and strophantidin, and the mono‐saccharides L‐thevetose, D‐cymarose and D‐glucose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-597
Number of pages25
JournalOrganic Mass Spectrometry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1971

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Instrumentation


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