Journal of Chromatography B (v.877, #1-2)

A rapid high performance liquid chromatographic method was developed including an internal standard for the measurement of mature and senescent crosslinks concentration in non-demineralized bone hydrolysates. To avoid the demineralization which is a tedious step, we developed a method based on the use of a solid-phase extraction procedure to clean-up the samples. It resulted in sensitive and accurate measurements: the detection limits as low as 0.2 pmol for the pyridimium crosslinks and 0.02 pmol for the pentosidine. The inter- and intra-assay coefficients of variation were as low as 5% and 2%, respectively, for all crosslinks.
Keywords: Pyridinium crosslinks; Pentosidine; Collagen; High performance liquid chromatography;

Meconium fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEEs) are currently used as biomarkers to detect heavy prenatal alcohol exposure. We introduce a novel technique to quantify FAEEs in meconium using headspace-solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) coupled with gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS). This method improves on previous approaches by decreasing sample preparation time, eliminating the need for organic solvents, and reducing the required sample size. Using 50 mg of meconium, the detection limits of FAEEs ranged from 0.05 to 0.16 nmol/g and had good reproducibility making it ideal for routine analysis of clinical samples.
Keywords: Fatty acid ethyl esters; Gas chromatography; Headspace-solid-phase microextraction; Biomarker; Meconium;

A capillary liquid chromatography (CLC) system with UV/vis detection was coupled with an in-tube solid-phase microextraction (SPME) device for the analysis of fat-soluble vitamins and β-carotene. A monolithic silica-ODS column was used as the extraction medium. An optical-fiber flow cell with a long light path in the UV/vis detector was utilized to further enhance the detection sensitivity. In the in-tube SPME/CLC system, the pre-condition of the extraction column and the effect of the injection volume were investigated. The detection limits (LOD) for the fat-soluble vitamins and β-carotene were in the range from 1.9 to 173 ng/mL based on the signal-to-noise ratio of 3 (S/N = 3). The relative standard deviations of migration time and peak area for each analyte were less than 5.0%. The method was applied to the analysis of fat-soluble vitamins and β-carotene contents in corns.
Keywords: In-tube solid-phase microextraction; Capillary liquid chromatography; Fat-soluble vitamins; β-Carotene;

Adsorption of human serum proteins onto TREN-agarose: Purification of human IgG by negative chromatography by Igor Tadeu Lazzarotto Bresolin; Mariana Borsoi-Ribeiro; Juliana Rodrigues Caro; Francine Petit dos Santos; Marina Polesi de Castro; Sonia Maria Alves Bueno (17-23).
Tris(2-aminoethyl)amine (TREN) – a chelating agent used in IMAC – immobilized onto agarose gel was evaluated for the purification of IgG from human serum by negative chromatography. A one-step purification process allowed the recovery of 73.3% of the loaded IgG in the nonretained fractions with purity of 90–95% (based on total protein concentration and nephelometric analysis of albumin, transferrin, and immunoglobulins A, G, and M). The binding capacity was relatively high (66.63 mg of human serum protein/mL). These results suggest that this negative chromatography is a potential technique for purification of IgG from human serum.
Keywords: Human IgG; Purification; Negative chromatography; Human serum; TREN-agarose gel;

Saliva is of interest as a diagnostic aid for oral and systemic diseases, to monitor therapeutic drugs, and detect illicit drug abuse. It is also attractive for biological monitoring of exposure to hazardous solvents. The major advantage of this indicator over other biological monitoring targets is that the saliva is noninvasive and less confidential in comparison with blood and urine. Salivary analysis is generally acceptable by study subjects and can be applied to investigation of a wide variety of compounds. However, very few studies have been conducted on the saliva matrix to monitor exposure to hazardous solvents. The aim of this study is to establish an analytical method, headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) followed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS), by which the saliva matrix can be monitored for multiple compounds with various polarities, such as methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), isopropyl alcohol (IPA), and N,N-dimethyl formamide (DMF) (common solvents used in synthetic leather manufacture), as well as acetone (ACE) and N-methyl formamide (NMF) (metabolites of IPA and DMF, respectively). We studied this technique as an alternative biological monitoring method for investigating exposure to hazardous solvents. A Carboxen/Polydimethylsiloxane (CAR/PDMS 75 μm) fiber coating was employed for this study, and various extraction and desorption parameters were evaluated. The extraction efficiency and reproducibility of analyses was improved by pre-incubation. The limits of detection were 0.004, 0.003, 0.006, 0.05, and 0.10 μg/mL for ACE, MEK, IPA, DMF, and NMF, respectively. Method validation was performed on standards spiked in blank saliva, and a correlation was made between HS-SPME and traditional solvent pretreatment methods. It was found that correlation coefficients (r) were greater than 0.996 for each analyte, with no significant differences (p  > 0.05) between two methods. However, the SPME method achieved lower limits of detection, with good accuracy (recovery 95.3–109.2%) and precision (1.17–8.22% CV) for both intra- and inter-assay, when quality control samples were analyzed for all five compounds. The partition coefficient for each compound between the headspace of the saliva sample and the CAR/PDMS fiber coating was 90.9, 170.1, 36.4, 3.70 and 0.92 for ACE, MEK, IPA, DMF and NMF, respectively. Real sample analyses were performed on workers in a synthetic leather factory. In summary, the SPME method is a highly versatile and flexible technique for chemical measurement, and we demonstrate its application for monitoring biological exposure to hazardous solvents. Saliva monitoring using sensitive SPME approaches for determining workplace exposure should prove useful as an alternative exposure monitoring method.
Keywords: Headspace solid-phase microextraction; Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry; Saliva; Synthetic leather manufactory;

Quantitation of bergenin in human plasma by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry by Weisong Yu; Yingwu Wang; Yunhui Zhang; Dan Zhang; Jing Lan; Zeyuan Liu; Jingkai Gu; J. Paul Fawcett (33-36).
This paper reports the development and validation of an assay for quantitation of bergenin in human plasma using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS). Bergenin and the internal standard (I.S.), 5-bromo-2,4(1H,3H)-pyrimidinedione (5-BrU), were separated by reversed phase HPLC and quantitated by MS/MS using electrospray ionization (ESI) and multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) in the negative ion mode. The most intense [M−H] MRM transition of bergenin at m/z 326.9 → 312.3 was used for quantitation and the transition at m/z 188.9 → 42.2 was used to monitor 5-BrU. Stability issues with bergenin required the addition of ascorbic acid to plasma samples prior to storage and analysis within 10 days storage at −80 °C. The method was linear in the range 3–1000 ng/mL with intra- and inter-day precision of 3.94–5.96 and 1.62–8.31%, respectively, and accuracy <2.33%. The assay was successfully applied to a pharmacokinetic study in healthy volunteers after administration of a single 250 mg oral dose.
Keywords: Bergenin; LC–MS/MS; Pharmacokinetics;

A simple and rapid method for the determination of seven phenothiazines derivatives (chlorpromazine, promethazine, levomepromazine, prochlorperazine, trifluoperazine, fluphenazine and thioridazine) in human urine samples is presented. The analytes are extracted from the sample in 50 μL of the ionic liquid 1-butyl-3-methyl-imidazolium hexafluorophosphate working in an automatic flow system under dynamic conditions. The chemical affinity between the extractant and the analytes allows a good isolation of the drugs from the sample matrix achieving at the same time their preconcentration. The separation and detection of the extracted compounds is accomplished by liquid chromatography and UV detection. The proposed method is a valuable alternative for the analysis of these drugs in urine within the concentration range 0.07–10 μg mL−1. Limits of detection were in the range from 21 ng mL−1 (thioridazine) to 60 ng mL−1 (levomepromazine). The repeatability of the proposed method expressed as RSD (n  = 5) varied between 2.2% (levomepromazine) and 3.9% (chlorpromazine).
Keywords: Ionic liquid; Dynamic liquid-phase microextraction; Phenothiazine derivatives; Liquid chromatography; Human urine;

Whole-body protein synthesis and breakdown are measured by a combined tracer infusion protocol with the stable isotope amino acids l-[ring-2H5]-phenylalanine, l-[ring- 2H2]-tyrosine and l-[ring- 2H4]-tyrosine that enable the measurement of the phenylalanine to tyrosine conversion rate. We describe a liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) method for the measurement of very low tracer–tracee ratios (TTR) of the amino acids l-phenylalanine and l-tyrosine in human plasma. TTR calibration curves of the tracers l-[ring-2H5]-phenylalanine, l-[ring- 2H2]-tyrosine and l-[ring- 2H4]-tyrosine were linear (r 2  > 0.99) in the range between 0.01% and 5.0% TTR and lowest measurable TTR for the tracers was 0.01% at a physiological concentration of 60 μM. The method was applied successfully to plasma samples from a clinical study reaching a steady state enrichment plateau (mean ± SD) of 3.33 ± 0.19% for l-[ring-2H5]-phenylalanine, 2.40 ± 0.43% for l-[ring- 2H2]-tyrosine and 0.29 ± 0.07% for l-[ring- 2H4]-tyrosine, respectively. The LC–MS/MS method can be applied for measurement of very low plasma enrichments of phenylalanine and tyrosine for the determination of whole-body protein synthesis and breakdown rates in humans.
Keywords: Derivatization; Tracer–tracee ratio; LC–MS/MS; Phenylalanine; Tyrosine; Stable isotope labeled amino acids; Protein turnover;

Downstream processing of human antibodies integrating an extraction capture step and cation exchange chromatography by Ana M. Azevedo; Paula A.J. Rosa; I. Filipa Ferreira; J. de Vries; T.J. Visser; M. Raquel Aires-Barros (50-58).
In this paper we explore an alternative process for the purification of human antibodies from a Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell supernatant comprising a ligand-enhanced extraction capture step and cation exchange chromatography (CEX). The extraction of human antibodies was performed in an aqueous two-phase system (ATPS) composed of dextran and polyethylene glycol (PEG), in which the terminal hydroxyl groups of the PEG molecule were modified with an amino acid mimetic ligand in order to enhance the partition of the antibodies to the PEG-rich phase. This capture step was optimized using a design of experiments and a central composite design allowed the determination of the conditions that favor the partition of the antibodies to the phase containing the PEG diglutaric acid (PEG-GA) polymer, in terms of system composition. Accordingly, higher recovery yields were obtained for higher concentrations of PEG-GA and lower concentrations of dextran. The highest yield experimentally obtained was observed for an ATPS composed of 5.17% (w/w) dextran and 8% (w/w) PEG-GA. Higher purities were however predicted for higher concentrations of both polymers. A compromise between yield and purity was achieved using 5% dextran and 10% PEG-GA, which allowed the recovery of 82% of the antibodies with a protein purity of 96% and a total purity of 63%, determined by size-exclusion chromatography. ATPS top phases were further purified by cation exchange chromatography and it was observed that the most adequate cation exchange ligand was carboxymethyl, as the sulfopropyl ligand induced the formation of multi-aggregates or denatured forms. This column allowed the elution of 89% of the antibodies present in the top phase, with a protein purity of 100% and a total purity of 91%. The overall process containing a ligand-enhanced extraction step and a cation exchange chromatography step had an overall yield of 73%.
Keywords: Antibodies; Aqueous two-phase systems; Cation exchange chromatography; Alternative downstream process; Amino acid mimetic ligand; Polyethylene glycol glutaric acid;

Quantification of isradipine in human plasma using LC–MS/MS for pharmacokinetic and bioequivalence study by Jin-Hee Park; Yoo-Sin Park; Si-Youn Rhim; Ok-Hwa Jhee; Shin-Hee Kim; Seok-Chul Yang; Min-Ho Lee; Leslie M. Shaw; Ju-Seop Kang (59-64).
A highly sensitive and rapid method for the analysis of isradipine in human plasma using liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) was developed. The procedure involves a simple liquid–liquid extraction of isradipine and amlodipine (IS, internal standard) with methyl-t-butyl ether after alkaline treatment and separation by RP-HPLC. Detection was performed by positive ion electrospray ionization (ESI) in multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode, monitoring the transitions m/z 372.1 →  m/z 312.2 and m/z 408.8 →  m/z 237.9, for quantification of isradipine and IS, respectively. The standard calibration curves showed good linearity within the range of 10 to 5000 pg/mL (r 2  ≥ 0.9998). The lower limit of quantitation (LLOQ) was 10 pg/mL. The retention times of isradipine (0.81 min) and IS (0.65 min) suggested the potential for high throughput of the proposed method. In addition, no significant metabolic compounds were found to interfere with the analysis. This method offered good precision and accuracy and was successfully applied for the pharmacokinetic and bioequivalence studies of 5 mg of sustained-release isradipine in 24 healthy Korean volunteers.
Keywords: LC–MS/MS; Isradipine; Pharmacokinetics; Bioequivalence study;

Simultaneous determination of uric acid metabolites allantoin, 6-aminouracil, and triuret in human urine using liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry by Kyung Mee Kim; George N. Henderson; Reginald F. Frye; Cheryl D. Galloway; Nancy J. Brown; Mark S. Segal; Witcha Imaram; Alexander Angerhofer; Richard J. Johnson (65-70).
Uric acid (UA) can be directly converted to allantoin enzymatically by uricase in most mammals except humans or by reaction with superoxide. UA can react directly with nitric oxide to generate 6-aminouracil and with peroxynitrite to yield triuret; both of these metabolites have been identified in biological samples. We now report a validated high-performance liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry method for the determination of these urinary UA metabolites. Urine samples were diluted 10-fold, filtered and directly injected onto HPLC for LC–MS/MS analysis. The urinary metabolites of UA were separated using gradient HPLC. Identification and quantification of UA urinary metabolites was performed with electrospray in positive ion mode by selected-reaction monitoring (SRM). Correlation coefficients were 0.991–0.999 from the calibration curve. The intra- and inter-day precision (R.S.D., %) of the metabolites ranged from 0.5% to 13.4% and 2.5–12.2%, respectively. In normal individuals (n  = 21), urinary allantoin, 6-aminouracil and triuret, were 15.30 (±8.96), 0.22 (±0.12), and 0.12 (±0.10) μg/mg of urinary creatinine (mean (±S.D.)), respectively. The new method was used to show that smoking, which can induce oxidative stress, is associated with elevated triuret levels in urine. Thus, the method may be helpful in identifying pathways of oxidative stress in biological samples.
Keywords: Metabolites; Allantoin; 6-Aminouracil; Triuret; LC–MS/MS; Uric acid;

A rapid and sensitive method to separate and quantify icariin, icariside I, icariside II, icaritin and desmethylicaritin in rat sera was developed using liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. Serum samples were extracted with ethyl acetate without further derivatization. Using coumestrol as an internal standard, calibration curves with good linearity (r 2  > 0.99) within the concentration range of 0.78–12.5 nM for icariin, icaritin and desmethylicaritin, and 0.78–100 nM for icariside I and II, were obtained in the multiple reaction monitoring mode. For all analytes, the limits of detection and quantification were <1 nM and 1–2 nM, respectively. Inter- and intra-assay variabilities were <15% and accuracies were between 94% and 114%, respectively. This method was successfully applied to quantify levels of icariin, icariside I, icariside II, icaritin and desmethylicaritin in rat sera after oral administration of an Epimedium preparation.
Keywords: Prenylflavonoids; Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS); Rat serum; Epimedium;

Proteomic analysis can be hampered by the large concentration distribution of proteins. Immunoaffinity techniques have been applied to selectively remove high abundant proteins (HAP's) from samples prior to analysis. Although immunodepletion of HAP's has been shown to enable greater detection of low abundance proteins, the resulting fractions are often diluted 5–10-fold during the process. Various concentration techniques can be applied; however, many are incompatible with the high salt content of the fractions. To help overcome this limitation, a two-dimensional liquid chromatography (2D-LC) method was developed which couples an IgY immunodepletion column in the first dimension with a large pore C18 analytical column in the second. A protein trap cartridge serves as an injection loop between the columns to facilitate on-line concentration and desalting. Feasibility of this 2D-LC system was demonstrated for mammalian proteomics. Beyond depletion of interfering proteins, this instrumentation provides four advantages which make immunodepletion technology more convenient, including: (1) on-line desalting (2) automatic buffer exchange (3) facile concentration and (4) fractionation by polarity.
Keywords: Immunodepletion; Multidimensional chromatography; 2DLC; Proteomics;

High performance liquid chromatographic determination of plasma free and total tazobactam and piperacillin by Gianna Di Giovamberardino; Michele Ferrannini; Gian Piero Testore; Giorgio Federici; Anna Pastore (86-88).
A high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) method with ultraviolet detection was developed for the measurement of plasma free and total tazobactam and piperacillin. This method is simple and fast, requiring only 11 min for the HPLC run and a sample preparation of about 11 min for total drugs and 10 min for free drugs. The procedure for the assay involves the treatment of plasma with acetonitrile for total drugs determination, and the use of a centrifugal filter device to deproteinize plasma for free drugs determination. The HPLC column, a Hypersil-ODS, was equilibrated with an eluent mixture composed of acetonitrile–potassium phosphate (pH 2.6). CVs for repeatability of tazobactam and piperacillin measurements ranged from 4.30 to 6.60; CVs for reproducibility ranged from 5.60 to 9.40. Mean analytical recoveries ranged from 100.4 to 103%. A linear relationship was obtained between peak area and drugs concentration in the range studied (0–62.5 mg/L for tazobactam and 0–500 mg/L for piperacillin). The equation for regression line were y  = 19x  − 1.4 for tazobactam and y  = 1.7x  − 0.9 for piperacillin; correlation coefficients were >0.999. The lower limit of quantitation (LLQ) for standard samples was about 0.12 mg/L for tazobactam and 0.49 mg/L for piperacillin, respectively. The lower limit of detection (LLD) was 0.06 mg/L for tazobactam and 0.24 mg/L for piperacillin. This HPLC assay for tazobactam and piperacillin is sensitive and accurate, and provides a reliable determination of both free and total tazobactam and piperacillin in human plasma, thus allowing the determination of these analytes in patients receiving tazocillin therapy.
Keywords: Tazobactam; Piperacillin; Total; Free; HPLC; Assay;

Rapid quantitative determination of fat-soluble vitamins and coenzyme Q-10 in human serum by reversed phase ultra-high pressure liquid chromatography with UV detection by Ekaterina M. Paliakov; Brian S. Crow; Michael J. Bishop; Dean Norton; Joe George; J. Alexander Bralley (89-94).
We are presenting the first ultra-high pressure LC (UHPLC) method for rapid quantitative measurement of vitamin A, E (α- and γ-tocopherol), β-carotene and CoQ10 from human serum. The chromatography was performed on Shield RP18 UHPLC column with UV detection. The method was validated based on linearity, accuracy, matrix effects study, precision and stability. The calibration was linear over the following range: 0.09–10.0 for retinol and γ-tocopherol, 0.05–5 for β-carotene, 0.9–100 for α-tocopherol and 0.14–15 mg/L for CoQ10. The limit of detection and quantitation for retinol, γ-tocopherol, β-carotene, α-tocopherol and CoQ10 were as follows 0.07/0.024, 0.018/0.06, 0.004/0.12, 0.078/0.261, 0.008/0.028 mg/L. The recoveries were above 85%. The inter- and intra-assay precision was below 10%. Reference intervals were established for children and adults. Because of its low cost, extremely short analysis time (2 min) and excellent chromatographic reproducibility this UHPLC method can easily be adopted for high-throughput clinical and pharmacokinetics studies.
Keywords: Fat-soluble vitamins; Vitamin A; Vitamin E; CoQ10; UHPLC; Serum; UV;

A rapid and sensitive LC–MS/MS method for the determination of vardenafil and its major metabolite, N-desethylvardenafil, in human plasma using sildenafil as an internal standard was developed and validated. The analytes were extracted from 0.25-mL aliquots of human plasma by liquid–liquid extraction, using 1 mL of ethyl acetate. Chromatographic separation was carried on a Luna C18 column (50 mm × 2.0 mm, 3 μm) at 40 °C, with an isocratic mobile phase consisting of 10 mM ammonium acetate (pH 5.0) and acetonitrile (10:90, v/v), a flow rate of 0.2 mL/min, and a total run time of 2 min. Detection and quantification were performed using a mass spectrometer in the selected reaction-monitoring mode with positive electrospray ionization at m/z 489.1 → 151.2 for vardenafil, m/z 460.9 → 151.2 for N-desethylvardenafil, and m/z 475.3 → 100.1 for the internal standard (IS), respectively. This assay was linear over a concentration range of 0.5–200 ng/mL with a lower limit of quantification of 0.5 ng/mL for both vardenafil and N-desethylvardenafil. The coefficient of variation for the assay precision was <13.6%, and the accuracy was >93.1%. This method was successfully applied to a pharmacokinetic study after oral administration of vardenafil 20 mg tablet in Korean healthy male volunteers.
Keywords: Vardenafil; N-desethylvardenafil; Human plasma; LC–MS/MS;

Determination of in vivo disulfide-bonded proteins in Arabidopsis by Sophie Alvarez; Gordon H. Wilson; Sixue Chen (101-104).
Protein thiol-disulfide oxidoreduction plays an important role in redox regulation of cellular processes. Here we present a proteomic approach to visualize and map in vivo disulfide-bonded proteins in plants. A proteomic map of the disulfide-bonded proteins was achieved using 2D gel electrophoresis of Arabidopsis protein extract. Along with novel proteins identified as potentially redox regulated, we have also shown the feasibility of mapping some of the cysteines involved in the formation of disulfide bonds. This study presents an important tool for characterizing redox-regulated proteins.
Keywords: Arabidopsis; Disulfide bonds; Thiol labeling; Proteomics; Mass spectrometry;

Corrigendum to “Metabonomics evaluation of urine from rats given acute and chronic doses of acetaminophen using NMR and UPLC/MS” [J. Chromatogr. B 871 (2008) 328] by Jinchun Sun; Laura K. Schnackenberg; Ricky D. Holland; Thomas C. Schmitt; Glenn H. Cantor; Yvonne P. Dragan; Richard D. Beger (105).