bims-metlip Biomed News
on Methods and protocols in metabolomics and lipidomics
Issue of 2023‒10‒08
27 papers selected by
Sofia Costa, Matterworks

  1. Crit Rev Anal Chem. 2023 Oct 02. 1-32
      Lipids, as one of the most important organic compounds in organisms, are important components of cells and participate in energy storage and signal transduction of living organisms. As a rapidly rising field, lipidomics research involves the identification and quantification of multiple classes of lipid molecules, as well as the structure, function, dynamics, and interactions of lipids in living organisms. Due to its inherent high selectivity and high sensitivity, mass spectrometry (MS) is the "gold standard" analysis technique for small molecules in biological samples. The combination chemical derivatization with MS detection is a unique strategy that could improve MS ionization efficiency, facilitate structure identification and quantitative analysis. Herein, this review discusses derivatization-based MS strategies for lipidomic analysis over the past decade and focuses on all the reported lipid categories, including fatty acids and modified fatty acids, glycerolipids, glycerophospholipids, sterols and saccharolipids. The functional groups of lipids mainly involved in chemical derivatization include the C=C group, carboxyl group, hydroxyl group, amino group, carbonyl group. Furthermore, representative applications of these derivatization-based lipid profiling methods were summarized. Finally, challenges and countermeasures of lipid derivatization are mentioned and highlighted to guide future studies of derivatization-based MS strategy in lipidomics.
    Keywords:  Lipidomics; derivatization; mass spectrometry; structure analysis
  2. Talanta. 2023 Sep 22. pii: S0039-9140(23)00982-7. [Epub ahead of print]267 125231
      Fatty acids (FAs) play a vital physiological role in lipid metabolism, which is reported as potential diagnostic biomarker for various diseases. Thus, it is urgent to develop a credible method that can profile FA metabolism with a holistic view. Here, a targeted strategy to screen FAs was developed by parallel labeling with d0/d6-dansylhydrazine (d0/d6-DnsHz) and using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled with high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) in data-dependent MS/MS (ddMS2) mode. The simple and mild derivatization procedure within 3 h allowed for a significant improvement in sensitivity. Additionally, the characteristic product ions introduced by the derivatization reagent assist to identify the unknown FA species. A quantitation method was established by multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) and the d6-DnsHz tagged standards for each analyte were used as internal standards to overcome the matrix effects. By applying the method to determine FA levels in plasma collected from the esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) patients and healthy controls, 65 FA metabolites were characterized and six FAs were found to be altered by the invasion of tumors. The parallel derivatization strategy provides insights into the identification of unknown FAs and paves a new way for targeted metabolomics. Also, this novel method is a powerful tool for characterization and quantification of FAs in biological samples, which shows a great potential application in clinical diagnosis and investigation of disease mechanisms.
    Keywords:  Biomarker; Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; Fatty acid; LC–MS/MS; Parallel derivatization
  3. Front Immunol. 2023 ;14 1250762
      Adenine nucleotides (AN) are ubiquitous metabolites that regulate cellular energy metabolism and modulate cell communication and inflammation. To understand how disturbances in AN balance arise and affect cellular function, robust quantification techniques for these metabolites are crucial. However, due to their hydrophilicity, simultaneous quantification of AN across various biological samples has been challenging. Here we present a hydrophilic interaction high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) based method for the quantification of 26 adenosine nucleotides and precursors as well as metabolic products of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) in plasma, liver, and adipose tissue samples as well as cell culture supernatants and cells. Method validation was performed with regard to linearity, accuracy, precision, matrix effects, and carryover. Finally, analysis of cell culture supernatants derived from intestinal organoids and RAW 264.7 cells illustrates that the here described method is a reliable and easy-to-use tool to quantify AN and opens up new avenues to understand the role of AN generation and breakdown for cellular functions.
    Keywords:  HILIC; LC-MS/MS; adenine nucleotides; metabolomics; purinergic signaling; quantification
  4. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2023 Sep 25. pii: S0731-7085(23)00522-8. [Epub ahead of print]236 115753
      Owing to the adverse effects of the overuse of common sedative-hypnotics on human health, the development of an efficient analytical method for the detection of drugs in clinical emergencies and forensic science is significant. Although conventional analytical methods, such as immunoassay, liquid chromatography (LC), gas chromatography, and mass spectrometry (MS) are reliable, they exhibit drawbacks such low-throughput screening and high costs. Thus, in this study, we developed a novel high-throughput method consisting of a polystyrene-based solid phase extraction (SPE) and an LC with tandem MS analysis for the detection of drugs in biological samples and investigated its precision and reliability via the detection of twelve sedative-hypnotics in human urine and plasma samples. Good linear relationship (r ≥ 0.99) were achieved within the concentration range of 0.1-20 ng/mL for the 12 analytes in urine samples. Whereas, in the plasma samples, the correlation coefficient was greater than 0.99 in the concentration range 1-100 ng/mL for lorazepam and clonazepam and in the range 0.5-100 ng/mL for the remaining analytes. The intra- and inter-day precision, autosampler and freeze-thaw stabilities, and lower limit of quantitation (LLOQ) for all twelve analytes in the urine and plasma samples were favorable. Furthermore, sedative-hypnotics were detected in clinical samples obtained from the Hebei General Hospital using this method. These results indicated that the analytical method proposed in this study can be effectively applied in toxicology screening and drug abuse monitoring.The method developed in this study could be applied in clinical and forensic toxicology laboratories for sedative-hypnotic drug screening, providing support for drug abuse monitoring and clinical diagnosis.
    Keywords:  Liquid chromatography; Polystyrene-based solid-phase extraction; Sedative-hypnotics; Tandem mass spectrometry; Toxicology screening
  5. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2023 Oct 01. pii: S1570-0232(23)00303-3. [Epub ahead of print]1229 123893
      Accurate quantification of amino acids (AA) is essential for several applications, including clinical research, food analysis, and pharmaceutical studies. In this study, we developed an analytical method based on liquid chromatography with electrospray ionization coupled to tandem mass spectrometry detection (LC-ESI-MS/MS). This method was devised to accurately quantify a spectrum of amino acids, notably taurine, creatinine, glutathione (GSH), and sulfur-containing amino acids (SAAs) such as methionine, cysteine, and homocysteine, using only 10 μL of human plasma. A stable isotope derivative of each AA is used as an internal standard (IS) for accurate quantification. For retention and separation on a C18 column, heptafluorobutyric acid (HFBA) was employed as an ion pair agent. Multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) in positive mode with the precursor-to-product ion transitions at m/z is used for quantification. The method showed excellent linearity for all AA with a high correlation coefficient (r > 0.9927). The linear fit indicates that the detector response is linear over the tested range of standard concentrations. The accuracy and precision of the method were within the acceptable range of 92-110% and < 15%, respectively. The limit of detection (LOD) and limit of quantification (LOQ) were in the range of 0.001-1.80 µM and 0.004-6.0 µM, respectively. No significant ion suppression or carry over was observed. In conclusion, the assay was validated and found to have adequate accuracy, precision, linearity, sensitivity and selectivity. The assay has been successfully applied to the analysis of human plasma.
    Keywords:  Amino acids; Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry; Underivatized
  6. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2023 Sep 26. pii: S1570-0232(23)00307-0. [Epub ahead of print]1229 123897
      Emerging pesticides of neonicotinoids (NEOs) and "Universal Pesticides" (UPs) are a growing global concern due to their growing commercial importance and potential risks to human health. The currently available analytical methods for these pesticides in biomonitoring were usually tailored for limited number of analytes, or were time consuming and costly. In this study, an efficient and sensitive method for the analysis of 16 NEOs and nine UPs in human follicular fluid (FF) was developed by using a salting-out assisted liquid-liquid extraction (SALLE) method and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Method performance was evaluated by calibration linearity (r > 0.99), sensitivity at limits of quantification (0.01-0.50 ng/mL), accuracy at relative recoveries (81-117%) and precision at relative standard deviations (≤16%). The developed method was further validated by analyzing 21 human FF samples that were collected from a hospital in Guangzhou, China. Among the 25 study analytes, two NEOs and six UPs had their detection rates over 85% and medians at 0.048-0.808 ng/mL in the FF samples. Considering the well-known toxicity of these pesticides and their metabolites, it is urgent to figure out exposure profiles of study pesticides and potential reproductive risk for women. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to develop and apply the SALLE method in the extraction of 16 NEOs and nine UPs simultaneously in human FF.
    Keywords:  Emerging pesticides; Follicular fluid; HPLC-MS/MS; Liquid-liquid extraction
  7. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2023 Sep 26. pii: S0731-7085(23)00521-6. [Epub ahead of print]236 115752
      Capillary microsampling (CMS) is a technique that can significantly reduce the blood collection volume compared to conventional sampling methods, and thus is much preferred for studies in rats and mice. BIIB131 (SMTP-7) is a novel thrombolytic drug candidate currently under Phase 2 clinical development for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke. To support the safety studies in rats, an accurate and reliable CMS LC-MS/MS assay for the quantification of BIIB131 in rat plasma was developed and validated. This method utilized stable-isotope labeled [13C515N2]-BIIB131 as the internal standard. The samples were extracted using acid-assisted liquid-liquid extraction with methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) and formic acid. The chromatographic separation was achieved on an ACE Excel 3 Super C18 analytical column (2.1 mm × 50 mm, 3.0 µm) using a gradient elution. The mass spectrometric detection of BIIB131 and its internal standard was achieved using positive ion electrospray multiple reaction monitoring (MRM). The standard curve ranged from 0.50 to 300 ng/mL for BIIB131 and was fitted to a 1/x2 weighted linear regression model. For regular QCs, the intra-assay precision was 1.7-6.1 % CV, the inter-assay precision was 2.7-11.0 % CV, and the intra-assay and inter-assay accuracy (%Bias) were -20.0-10.6 % and -7.8-6.3 %, respectively. For CMS QCs, the intra-assay and inter-assay precision were 2.2-13.6 % and 6.7-12.9 % CV, and the intra-assay and inter-assay accuracy (%Bias) were -13.2-15.0 % and -7.8-4.2 %, respectively. The validated CMS LC-MS/MS method has been successfully applied to a safety study in rats.
    Keywords:  BIIB131; Bioanalysis; Capillary microsampling; LC–MS/MS; Quantitative; SMTP-7
  8. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2023 Sep 19. pii: S0731-7085(23)00503-4. [Epub ahead of print]236 115734
      A rapid, simple, and robust LC-MS/MS method was developed and validated for the quantitation of colistin and colistin methanesulfonate (CMS) in human plasma. The method also prevented overestimation of colistin concentration by establishing the stability of CMS under sample preparation conditions, including blood and plasma storage conditions. Polymyxin B1 was used as an internal standard, and positive-ion electrospray ionization in multiple reaction monitoring mode was used for quantification. Chromatographic separation was achieved using a Zorbax eclipse C18 column (3.5 µm, 2.1 mm i.d. × 100 mm), with a flow rate of 0.5 mL/min, 5 μL injection volume, and gradient elution with a mixture of acetonitrile-water (containing 0.1 % trifluoroacetic acid). The method had a quantifiable range of 0.043-8.61 and 0.057-11.39 μg/mL for colistin A and B in human plasma, respectively, under a total runtime of 6.0 min. Further, it demonstrated appropriate extraction efficiency, no significant interference from co-eluting endogenous compounds, and satisfactory intraday and interday precision and accuracy. The proposed procedure for sample preparation successfully addressed the issue of CMS instability, consequently diminishing the probability of overestimating the concentration of colistin. Therefore, this simple and robust LC-MS/MS method for CMS and colistin quantification in human plasma is a valuable tool for clinicians to accurately monitor colistin treatment in patients with infections caused by multidrug-resistant (MDR) Gram-negative bacteria.
    Keywords:  Colistin; Colistin methanesulfonate; Human plasma; Stability; Therapeutic drug monitoring
  9. Mass Spectrom (Tokyo). 2023 ;12(1): A0129
      Cancer metabolic variability has a significant impact on both diagnosis and treatment outcomes. The discovery of novel biological indicators and metabolic dysregulation, can significantly rely on comprehension of the modified metabolism in cancer, is a research focus. Tissue histology is a critical feature in the diagnostic testing of many ailments, such as cancer. To assess the surgical margin of the tumour on patients, frozen section histology is a tedious, laborious, and typically arbitrary method. Concurrent monitoring of ion images in tissues facilitated by the latest advancements in mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) is far more efficient than optical tissue image analysis utilized in conventional histopathology examination. This article focuses on the "desorption electrospray ionization (DESI)-MSI" technique's most recent advancements and uses in cancer research. DESI-MSI can provide wealthy information based on the variances in metabolites and lipids in normal and cancerous tissues by acquiring ion images of the lipid and metabolite variances on biopsy samples. As opposed to a systematic review, this article offers a synopsis of the most widely employed cutting-edge DESI-MSI techniques in cancer research.
    Keywords:  DESI-MSI; ambient mass spectrometry; cancer studies; carcinoma; mass spectrometry imaging
  10. J Chromatogr A. 2023 Oct 25. pii: S0021-9673(23)00625-8. [Epub ahead of print]1709 464400
      Oxylipins and their precursors (long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, LCPUFAs) are key intercellular signaling molecules influencing the inflammatory response. Each oxylipin has pro- and/or anti-inflammatory effects, and the relative abundance of different oxylipins can alter the inflammatory balance, making it important to clarify the oxylipin profile of breast milk for optimal infant health. The extraction, identification, and simultaneous quantification of oxylipins in breast milk are challenging due to the structural similarity, limited stability, and the low endogenous concentration of oxylipins and the complex matrix of breast milk. This study aimed to develop a solid phase extraction-ultra high performance liquid chromatography-triple quadrupole tandem mass spectrometry (SPE-UPLC-MS/MS) method for the comprehensive and specific quantification of oxylipins and their precursors in breast milk. The LC conditions (including column, mobile phase, and gradient conditions) and SPE procedure (including SPE cartridges, elution solvent, and elution volume) were optimized to achieve accurate quantification and better analyte recovery. A single 18-minute chromatographic run allows for the quantification of 20 oxylipins and 5 PUFAs. The results showed good linearity (R2 > 0.99) over the concentration range of 2 to 100 ng/mL, with the instrument detection limits ranging from 0.01 to 0.90 ng/mL for oxylipins and 0.02 to 0.59 ng/mL for PUFAs. The method is rapid, sensitive, and reproducible (RSD ≤ 10%) and is suitable for the quantitative analysis of oxylipins and their precursors in infant formula samples.
    Keywords:  Breast milk; Oxylipins; PUFAs; SPE-UPLC-MS/MS
  11. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2023 Sep 19. pii: S0731-7085(23)00505-8. [Epub ahead of print]236 115736
      Azvudine (FNC) is a new drug conditionally approved in 2022 for the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in China. However, the exposure level of FNC in COVID-19 patients in clinical practice is still obscure, and there is no liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) or LC method reported for quantifying the FNC. In this study, a simple, fast, and reliable LC-MS/MS method using L-phenylalanine-D5 (Phe-D5) as the internal standard (IS) was developed for the quantification of FNC in plasma from COVID-19 patients. After simple protein precipitation with methanol, the analyte in the supernatant was separated on Waters Atlantis® T3 (2.1 ×100 mm, 3.0 µm) column with the mobile phase consisting of acetonitrile (ACN) - aqueous solution (containing 0.03% heptafluorobutyric acid and 0.2% formic acid). The mobile phase was delivered at 0.3 mL/min in an isocratic elution program (15:85, V: V). The linear relationship of FNC was good within the calibration range of 2.0 - 2000.0 ng/mL, with the recovery of FNC ranging from 81.37% to 103.31% and the matrix effect was 94.77%- 109.83%. The short-term, long-term, and freeze-thaw stability of the FNC assessed in method was acceptable, and all other items met the requirements of validation of the biological analytical method. Finally, the method was applied to detect the exposure level of FNC in plasma samples from patients diagnosed with COVID-19, and the results, which are within the linear range of the method, showed huge inter-individual variation, supporting the significance of therapeutic drug monitoring of FNC.
    Keywords:  Azvudine; COVID-19; Exposure; LC/MS-MS; Therapeutic drug monitoring
  12. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf. 2023 Oct 02.
      With the development of metabolomics analytical techniques, relevant studies have increased in recent decades. The procedures of metabolomics analysis mainly include sample preparation, data acquisition and pre-processing, multivariate statistical analysis, as well as maker compounds' identification. In the present review, we summarized the published articles of tea metabolomics regarding different analytical tools, such as mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance, ultraviolet-visible spectrometry, and Fourier transform infrared spectrometry. The metabolite variation of fresh tea leaves with different treatments, such as biotic/abiotic stress, horticultural measures, and nutritional supplies was reviewed. Furthermore, the changes of chemical composition of processed tea samples under different processing technologies were also profiled. Since the identification of critical or marker metabolites is a complicated task, we also discussed the procedure of metabolite identification to clarify the importance of omics data analysis. The present review provides a workflow diagram for tea metabolomics research and also the perspectives of related studies in the future.
    Keywords:  biotic stress; mass spectrometry; metabolomics; nuclear magnetic resonance; processing technology; tea
  13. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2023 Oct 01. pii: S1570-0232(23)00310-0. [Epub ahead of print]1229 123900
      Urinary 1,5-anhydroglucitol (1, 5-AG), 6-α-D-glucopyranosyl-maltotriose (Glc4) and maltotetraose (M4) are important biomarkers for glycogen storage disease (types Ib and Ⅱ). This study aimed to develop and validate an ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) to detect these three urinary saccharide metabolites. Urine samples were diluted and then analyzed. Chromatographic separation was performed on an Acquity™ UPLC Amide column (2.1 × 100 mm, 1.7 μm) with gradient elution. The quantitation of analytes was achieved on a 5500 Qtrap mass spectrometer using negative multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode. The calibration curves for all analytes were linear over the range of 0.500 to 100 μg/mL with a correlation coefficient, R2 ≥ 0.999. The percent relative standard deviations (RSD%) were ≤12.8%, and the percent relative errors (RE%) were in the range of -11.7%-11.0%. The relative matrix effects of all analytes were between 87.2% and 104% with RSD% < 3.10% across three concentrations. The developed analytical method was simple, accurate, and reliable for rapid and simultaneous analysis of these three urinary saccharide metabolites. It was applied to healthy volunteers and patients. To our knowledge, it was the first validated assay for urinary maltotetraose quantification. This work provides support for exploring the potential of maltotetraose as a biomarker for Pompe disease.
    Keywords:  Glycogen storage disease; Saccharide metabolites; UPLC-MS/MS; Urine
  14. J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 2023 Oct 01.
      N-linked glycans are complex biomolecules vital to cellular functions that have been linked to a wide range of pathological conditions. Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) has been used to study the localization of N-linked glycans in cells and tissues. However, their structural diversity presents a challenge for MSI techniques, which stimulates the development of new approaches. In this study, we demonstrate for the first time spatial mapping of N-linked glycans in biological tissues using nanospray desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry imaging (nano-DESI MSI). Nano-DESI MSI is an ambient ionization technique that has been previously used for imaging of metabolites, lipids, and proteins in biological tissue samples without special sample pretreatment. N-linked glycans are released from glycoproteins using an established enzymatic digestion with peptide N-glycosidase F, and their spatial localization is examined using nano-DESI MSI. We demonstrate imaging of N-linked glycans in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded human hepatocellular carcinoma and human prostate tissues in both positive and negative ionization modes. We examine the localization of 38 N-linked glycans consisting of high mannose, hybrid fucosylated, and sialyated glycans. We demonstrate that negative mode nano-DESI MSI is well-suited for imaging of underivatized sialylated N-linked glycans. On-tissue MS/MS of different adducts of N-linked glycans proves advantageous for elucidation of the glycan sequence. This study demonstrates the applicability of liquid extraction techniques for spatial mapping of N-linked glycans in biological samples, providing an additional tool for glycobiology research.
    Keywords:  N-linked glycans; hepatocellular carcinoma; mass spectrometry imaging; nano-DESI; prostate cancer
  15. Bioinformatics. 2023 Oct 04. pii: btad593. [Epub ahead of print]
      MOTIVATION: Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) is widely used to analyse metabolites in biological samples, but the analysis requires specific expertise, it is time-consuming, and can be inaccurate. Here, we present a powerful automate tool, SPA-STOCSY (Spatial Clustering Algorithm - Statistical Total Correlation Spectroscopy), which overcomes challenges faced when analysing NMR data and identifies metabolites in a sample with high accuracy.RESULTS: As a data-driven method, SPA-STOCSY estimates all parameters from the input dataset. It first investigates the covariance pattern among datapoints and then calculates the optimal threshold with which to cluster datapoints belonging to the same structural unit, i.e., the metabolite. Generated clusters are then automatically linked to a metabolite library to identify candidates. To assess SPA-STOCSY's efficiency and accuracy, we applied it to synthesized spectra and spectra acquired on Drosophila melanogaster tissue and human embryonic stem cells. In the synthesized spectra, SPA outperformed Statistical Recoupling of Variables, an existing method for clustering spectral peaks, by capturing a higher percentage of the signal regions and the close-to-zero noise regions. In the biological data, SPA-STOCSY performed comparably to the operator-based Chenomx analysis while avoiding operator bias, and it required less than seven minutes of total computation time. Overall, SPA-STOCSY is a fast, accurate, and unbiased tool for untargeted analysis of metabolites in the NMR spectra. It may thus accelerate the use of NMR for scientific discoveries, medical diagnostics, and patient-specific decision making.
    AVAILABILITY: The codes of SPA-STOCSY are available at
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
  16. Lab Chip. 2023 Oct 02.
      Ambient mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) is a powerful technique that allows for the simultaneous mapping of hundreds of molecules in biological samples under atmospheric conditions, requiring minimal sample preparation. We have developed nanospray desorption electrospray ionization (nano-DESI), a liquid extraction-based ambient ionization technique, which has proven to be sensitive and capable of achieving high spatial resolution. We have previously described an integrated microfluidic probe, which simplifies the nano-DESI setup, but is quite difficult to fabricate. Herein, we introduce a facile and scalable strategy for fabricating microfluidic devices for nano-DESI MSI applications. Our approach involves the use of selective laser-assisted etching (SLE) of fused silica to create a monolithic microfluidic probe (SLE-MFP). Unlike the traditional photolithography-based fabrication, SLE eliminates the need for the wafer bonding process and allows for automated, scalable fabrication of the probe. The chamfered design of the sampling port and ESI emitter significantly reduces the amount of polishing required to fine-tune the probe thereby streamlining and simplifying the fabrication process. We have also examined the performance of a V-shaped probe, in which only the sampling port is fabricated using SLE technology. The V-shaped design of the probe is easy to fabricate and provides an opportunity to independently optimize the size and shape of the electrospray emitter. We have evaluated the performance of SLE-MFP by imaging mouse tissue sections. Our results demonstrate that SLE technology enables the fabrication of robust monolithic microfluidic probes for MSI experiments. This development expands the capabilities of nano-DESI MSI and makes the technique more accessible to the broader scientific community.
  17. Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2023 Nov 15. 37(21): e9626
      RATIONALE: Trimetazidine and its metabolites are prohibited substances in sports. With a growing number of adverse findings in human athletes, it is crucial to develop doping control strategies that include screening for trimetazidine in animal sports. This study aims to detect and characterize trimetazidine and its metabolites for doping control in camel racing.METHODS: Camel urine and plasma samples were collected from four healthy animals following a single oral dose of trimetazidine. In vitro investigations were conducted using camel liver samples. Liquid-liquid extraction and solid-phase extraction techniques were employed for the extraction of trimetazidine metabolites from plasma and urine matrices. The metabolites were analyzed using a Thermo Orbitrap Exploris LC-MS system with optimized settings to achieve maximum sensitivity and accurate mass measurements.
    RESULTS: Comprehensive metabolite profiling of trimetazidine in camels revealed the identification of seven phase I and five phase II metabolites. Phase I metabolites were primarily formed through dealkylation, while phase II metabolites were dominated by glucuronide conjugation of demethylated trimetazidine. The findings provided insights into the distinct metabolic pathways and biotransformation patterns of trimetazidine in camels under the experimental conditions.
    CONCLUSION: The developed method enables detection and characterization of trimetazidine and its metabolites in camels. The identified metabolites have the potential to serve as marker metabolites for trimetazidine abuse in camel racing. This study provides valuable insights into the metabolism of trimetazidine in camels.
  18. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2023 Sep 25. pii: S1570-0232(23)00305-7. [Epub ahead of print]1229 123895
      A novel sample preparation method based on polarity grouping was developed for the comprehensive determination of 315 undesirable low-weight organic pollutants ranging from polar to weakly polar in wolfberry. The method involves the swelling of the sample in ammonium acetate buffer, two-phase extraction, three-phase extraction, and dispersive solid phase extraction (D-SPE) with the assistance of low-temperature centrifugation and analysis by ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization tandem mass (UHPLC-ESI-MS-MS) by using the multiple reaction monitoring mode. The recoveries of the analytes with wide range of polarity were satisfactory. The matrix-fortified standard calibration curves were compared for quantification. The results of linearity were satisfactory with linear regression coefficients (R) ranging from 0.9901 to 1.000. The limits of quantification ranged from 1 μg/kg to 10.0 μg/kg, indicating the compliance of products with legal tolerances. The average recoveries for spiked wolfberry were in the range of 69.3 %-145.2 % with RSD values of 0.2 %-28.6 %. The inter-day precision was in the range of 0.2 %-27.0 %. For over 90 % of the analytes, the recoveries were 70 %-120 % with RSD values below 20 %. The application of this method in routine monitoring programs would imply a drastic reduction of both effort and time.
    Keywords:  Mycotoxin; Pesticide; Polarity grouping; Three-phase extraction; Wolfberry
  19. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2023 Sep 29. pii: S0731-7085(23)00526-5. [Epub ahead of print]236 115757
      The accurate characterisation of metabolic profiles is an important prerequisite to determine the rate and the efficiency of the metabolic pathways taking place in the cells. Changes in the balance of metabolites involved in vital processes such as glycolysis, tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), as well as in the biochemical pathways related to amino acids, lipids, nucleotides, and their precursors reflect the physiological condition of the cells and may contribute to the development of various human diseases. The feasible and reliable measurement of a wide array of metabolites and biomarkers possesses great potential to elucidate physiological and pathological mechanisms, aid preclinical drug development and highlight potential therapeutic targets. An effective, straightforward, sensitive, and selective liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) approach was developed for the simultaneous quali-quantitative analysis of 41 compounds in both cell pellet and cell growth medium obtained from brain-derived cell cultures. Sample pretreatment miniaturisation was achieved thanks to the development and optimisation of an original extraction/purification approach based on digitally programmed microextraction by packed sorbent (eVol®-MEPS). MEPS allows satisfactory and reproducible clean-up and preconcentration of both low-volume homogenate cell pellet lysate and cell growth medium with advantages including, but not limited to, minimal sample handling and method sustainability in terms of sample, solvents, and energy consumption. The MEPS-LC-MS/MS method showed good sensitivity, selectivity, linearity, and precision. As a proof of concept, the developed method was successfully applied to the analysis of both cell pellet and cell growth medium obtained from a line of mouse immortalised oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs; Oli-neu cell line), leading to the unambiguous determination of all the considered target analytes. This method is thus expected to be suitable for targeted, quantitative metabolic profiling in most brain cell models, thus allowing accurate investigations on the biochemical pathways that can be altered in central nervous system (CNS) neuropathologies, including e.g., mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis, or use of specific nutrients for growth and proliferation, or lipid, amino acid and nucleotide metabolism.
    Keywords:  Biomarkers; Brain cell cultures; Cell metabolism; LC-MS/MS; Targeted metabolic profiling
  20. J Chromatogr A. 2023 Sep 27. pii: S0021-9673(23)00642-8. [Epub ahead of print]1710 464417
      Liquid chromatography-tandem with high-resolution mass spectrometry (LCHRMS) has proven challenging for annotating multiple small molecules within complex matrices due to the complexities of chemical structure and raw LCHRMS data, as well as limitations in previous literatures and reference spectra related to those molecules. In this study, we developed a molecular networking assisted automatic database screening (MN/auto-DBS) strategy to examine the combined effect of MS1 exact mass screening and MS2 similarity analysis. We compiled all previously reported compounds from the relevant literatures. With the development of a Python software, the in-house database (DB) was created by automatically calculating the m/z and data from experimental MS1 hits were rapid screened with DB. We then performed a feature-based molecular network analysis on the auto-MS2 data for supplementary identification of unreported compounds, including clustered FBMN and annotated GNPS compounds. Finally, the results from both strategies were merged and manually curated for correct structural assignment. To demonstrate the applicability of MN/auto-DBS, we selected the Huangqi-Danshen herb pair (HD), commonly used in prescriptions or patent medicines to treat diabetic nephropathy and cerebrovascular disease. A total of 223 compounds were annotated, including 65 molecules not previously reported in HD, such as aromatic polyketides, coumarins, and diarylheptanoids. Using MN/auto-DBS, we can profile and mine a wide range of complex matrices for potentially new compounds.
    Keywords:  Database screening; Huangqi-Danshen herb pair; Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry; Molecular networking; Python programming software
  21. Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2023 Nov 15. 37(21): e9624
      RATIONALE: Sodium azide (NaN3 ) is a toxic chemical agent to humans by ingestion and inhalation with a growing number of intentional exposures and accidental cases over the last few decades. Due to its low molecular weight and lack of any chromophore, its retention and detection by reverse-phase liquid chromatography-ultraviolet-mass spectrometry methods are a challenging task.METHODS: To be able to confirm azide exposure, we have developed a method to identify azide in both beverages and bodily fluids. The identification of azide (N3 - ) is based on derivatization with N-(2-(bromomethyl)benzyl)-N,N-diethylethanaminium bromide (CAX-B) at 25°C for 15 min followed by LC/ESI-MS/MS analysis, with no other sample preparation.
    RESULTS: The azide after derivatization (CAX-N3 ) was stable, retainable by LC and sensitively detected by selected reaction monitoring. The ESI-MS/MS fragmentation of the M+ precursor ion produced characteristic product ions at m/z 118, 100, 91 and 86. The calibration curves for CAX-N3 showed linearity over two orders of magnitude with R2 value of 0.99. Low limits of identification of 0.1-0.5 ng/mL were obtained in all investigated matrices (drinking water, tea, orange juice, plasma and urine).
    CONCLUSIONS: Compared with previously reported chromatography-based methods, this method that was based on derivatization and LC/ESI-MS/MS analysis was substantially more sensitive, simpler and faster. The method can be used for forensic investigation to confirm azide exposure from fatal use to much smaller intoxication dose.
  22. Food Chem. 2023 Sep 28. pii: S0308-8146(23)02222-7. [Epub ahead of print]435 137604
      For the first time, a simple, quick, sensitive, and low cost method for quantification of perchlorate in honey using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was developed. Through freezing-assisted sugaring-out liquid-liquid extraction, one-step simultaneous extraction and clean-up of perchlorate from honey were perfectly achieved. Glucose and fructose, the most abundant sugars in honey, were almost completely removed from the extract without use of any clean-up materials. Under optimum conditions, the proposed approach exhibited satisfactory linearity, negligible matrix effects, and low detection limit of 0.05 µg/kg, providing recoveries of 96.7 %-102.3 % with relative standard deviation of < 9 % for honey samples. The validated method was applied to the analysis of perchlorate in 36 honey samples, and detection rate was 94.4 %. This work provided a simple and reliable method for extensive monitoring of perchlorate in honey and opened- up new insights for analysis of contaminants in honey matrixes.
    Keywords:  Freezing; Honey; LC-MS/MS; Perchlorate; Sugaring-out assisted liquid–liquid extraction (SULLE)
  23. Biomed Chromatogr. 2023 Oct 05. e5758
      This study aimed to develop a fast, accurate, and precise high-performance liquid chromatography with UV detection method for simultaneous analysis of underivatized phenylalanine (Phe) and tyrosine (Tyr) in biological samples. Separation of the analytes was accomplished using a Discovery HS F5-3 column, which offered better retention and peak symmetry for the tested analytes. Chromatographic conditions were optimized using central composite experimental design, and three factors were investigated: the concentration of ammonium acetate (A), the acetonitrile proportion in the mobile phase (B) and the column oven temperature (C). The approach was verified using β-expectation tolerance intervals for total error measurement that did not exceed 15%. Optimal settings were A = 50 mm, B = 24% and C = 28°C. The method applicability was determined using human plasma from 75 volunteers. The limits of detection and quantification of the technique were satisfactory at 9 and 29 μm for Phe and 4 and 13 μm for Tyr. The mean analytical bias in spiking levels was acceptable, ranging from -1.649 to +1.659% for both substances, with RSD <5% in all instances. The suggested approach was successfully used to analyze Phe and Tyr in human blood samples and calculate the Phe/Tyr ratio.
    Keywords:  HPLC-UV; biological samples; central composite experimental design; phenylalanine/tyrosine ratio; phenylketonuria
  24. J Chromatogr A. 2023 Aug 06. pii: S0021-9673(23)00512-5. [Epub ahead of print]1710 464287
      Analytical methods for the determination of multi-class emerging contaminants are limited for soil and sediment while they are essential to provide a more complete picture of their distribution in the environment and to understand their fate in different environmental compartments. In this paper, we present the development and optimization of an analytical strategy that combines reliable extraction, purification and the analysis using ultra-pressure liquid chromatography triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) of 90 emerging organic contaminants including pesticides, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, flame retardants, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) and plasticizers in soil and sediment. To extract a wide range of chemicals, the extraction strategy is based on the QuEChERS (Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged and Safe) approach. A number of different options were investigated (buffer, acidification, addition of EDTA, different types and combinations of dispersive SPE etc.) and the effectiveness of the chemical extraction procedure and the clean-up was assessed for two matrices: soil (organic matter content of 9%) and sediment (organic matter content of 1.9%). The method was fully validated for both matrices, in terms of accuracy, linearity, repeatability (intra-day), reproducibility (inter-day), method limits of detection and quantification (LODs and MLOQs, respectively). The final performance showed good accuracy and precision (mean recoveries were between 70 and 120% with relative standard deviations (RSD) less than 20% in most cases), low matrix effects, good linearity for the matrix-matched calibration curve (R2≥0.991) and MLOQs ranged from 0.25 and 10 µg/kg. To demonstrate the applicability and suitability of the validated method, soil and sediment samples from Vietnam, France, Sweden and Mexico were analyzed. The results showed that of the 90 target compounds, a total of 33 were quantified in the sediment and soil samples analyzed. In addition to multi-target analysis, this strategy could be suitable for non-target screening, to provide a more comprehensive view of the contaminants present in the samples.
    Keywords:  Multi-residue analysis; Pharmaceuticals and personal care products; Plasticizers; QuEChERS; Solid matrices
  25. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2023 Sep 27. pii: S1570-0232(23)00302-1. [Epub ahead of print]1229 123892
      Lifitegrast, a lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 antagonist, was approved by the FDA for the treatment of dry eye disease. Cornea and conjunctiva have been reported to be the sites of action of lifitegrast. To investigate the pharmacokinetics of lifitegrast, a sensitive analytical method for the determination of lifitegrast in various biological matrices such as plasma and ocular tissues is required. However, only limited information about the analytical method for lifitegrast in biological samples is available. In the present study, we aimed to develop a new liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method for the determination of lifitegrast in rabbit plasma, cornea, conjunctiva, and sclera. Lifitegrast-d6 was used as an internal standard (IS). To prepare the biological samples, protein precipitation using acetonitrile was utilized. Analytes were separated from endogenous interferences on an Atlantis dC18 (5 µm, 2.1 × 150 mm), and a mixture of 0.1 % formic acid and acetonitrile was used as the mobile phase. The mass transition of precursor to product ion was monitored at 615.2 → 145.0 for lifitegrast and 621.2 → 145.1 for IS. The calibration curves were linear over the concentration range from 2 to 500 ng/mL for plasma and 5 to 500 ng/mL in ocular tissue homogenates. Intra- and inter-day accuracy ranged from 95.76 to 106.80 % in the plasma and 94.42 to 112.80 % in the ocular tissues. Precision was within 8.56 % in the plasma and 9.72 % in the ocular tissues. The short-term, long-term, auto-sampler, and freeze-thaw stabilities of lifitegrast were validated. The developed method was applied to a pharmacokinetic study of lifitegrast in rabbits. Following ophthalmic administration, only 3.26 % of administered lifitegrast was absorbed into the systemic circulation. Peak tissue concentrations were observed at 0.5 h after dosing, and topically administered lifitegrast was mainly distributed in the cornea and conjunctiva. The finding of this study is expected to be used in further pharmacokinetic studies and formulation development.
    Keywords:  Dry eye disease; LC-MS/MS; Lifitegrast; Ocular tissue; Pharmacokinetics
  26. Anal Chem. 2023 Oct 04.
      Lipid analysis gained significant importance due to the enormous range of lipid functions, e.g., energy storage, signaling, or structural components. Whole lipidomes can be quantitatively studied in-depth thanks to recent analytical advancements. However, the systematic comparison of thousands of distinct lipidomes remains challenging. We introduce LipidSpace, a standalone tool for analyzing lipidomes by assessing their structural and quantitative differences. A graph-based comparison of lipid structures is the basis for calculating structural space models and subsequently computing lipidome similarities. When adding study variables such as body weight or health condition, LipidSpace can determine lipid subsets across all lipidomes that describe these study variables well by utilizing machine-learning approaches. The user-friendly GUI offers four built-in tutorials and interactive visual interfaces with pdf export. Many supported data formats allow an efficient (re)analysis of data sets from different sources. An integrated interactive workflow guides the user through the quality control steps. We used this suite to reanalyze and combine already published data sets (e.g., one with about 2500 samples and 576 lipids in one run) and made additional discoveries to the published conclusions with the potential to fill gaps in the current lipid biology understanding. LipidSpace is available for Windows or Linux (
  27. J Chromatogr A. 2023 Sep 12. pii: S0021-9673(23)00604-0. [Epub ahead of print]1710 464379
      Based on one-step vortex extraction and purification combined with gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS), we established a simple, rapid, and efficient method for the simultaneous determination of four skin penetration enhancers in cosmetics, including isosorbide dimethyl ether, isopropyl myristate, N-butylsaccharin and Azone. The extraction procedure was performed in a centrifuge tube, allowing extraction and purification in a single step. The cosmetic sample was extracted by n-hexane-ethyl acetate (1:1, V/V), purified by silica gel and anhydrous magnesium sulfate as the solid phase purification agent, separated on a TG-5 ms column (30.0 m × 0.25 mm × 0.25 μ m), confirmed and detected by GC-MS/MS in the selected reaction monitoring (SRM) mode, and quantified by the internal standard method with Di-n‑butyl phthalate-D4(DBP-D4) as the internal standard. The selections of a column, extraction solvent, and solid phase purification agent were optimized. Under the optimized conditions, the four skin penetration enhancers showed good linearities in the range of 0.02∼0.50 mg L - 1. The correlation coefficients (r) were 0.992 ∼ 0.997, exceeding the specifications requirements (r ≥ 0.990); The detection (LODs, S/N = 3) and quantification limits (LOQs, S/N = 10) of the method were 0.08 ∼ 0.12 mg kg-1 and 0.25 ∼ 0.40 mg kg-1, respectively. According to the cosmetic matrix in different formulation systems, the spiked recovery tests were carried out at three levels, i.e., low, medium, and high. The average recoveries of the analytes were 85.3% ∼ 95.6%, and the relative standard deviations (RSDs, n = 6) were 2.1% ∼ 7.8%. The established method was also employed to analyze cosmetics in the market. Azone, isosorbide dimethyl ether, and isopropyl myristate resulted as the most widely used skin penetration enhancers in cosmetics. The method established in this study has the advantages of operational simplicity, high sensitivity, good reproducibility, and low consumption of samples and solvents. Moreover, it can be used to determine skin penetration enhancers in cosmetics.
    Keywords:  Cosmetics; Gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry; One-step vortex extraction; Skin penetration enhancers