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Analysis of endogenous epinephrine and norepinephrine enantiomers in rat plasma and application to a stereoselective pharmacokinetics.

J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2019 Sep 06;177:112859

Authors: Lv H, Luo S, Tian R, Zhang W, Sun B, Cui Y

Epinephrine and norepinephrine are a class of chiral endogenous catecholamines, which are known as major neurotransmitters. This work described a new LC-MS/MS method coupled with pre-column derivatization, enabling the simultaneous enantiomeric separation of epinephrine and norepinephrine in rat plasma. After protein precipitation procedure, the samples were derivatized with (S)-N-(4-nitrophenoxycarbonyl) phenylalanine methoxyethyl ester, [(S)-NIFE]. The derivatives resolved with good baseline separation on an ACQUITY UPLC BEH C18 column (100 mm × 2.1 mm, 1.7 μm) with mobile phase composed of methanol with 0.2% formic acid in water at a flow rate of 0.2 mL/min. Analysis was performed by multiple reaction monitoring in positive ionization mode. The linear ranges were 1.0-500 ng/mL for epinephrine enantiomers and 1.5-750 ng/mL for norepinephrine enantiomers. The lower limits of quantification for epinephrine and norepinephrine enantiomers were 1.0 and 1.5 ng/mL, respectively. The intra-day and inter-day precision were all less than 10.7% and accuracy ranged from 96.0 to 101.5%. Recoveries for all the analytes were more than 80.3%. The proposed method was successfully applied to simultaneously determine endogenous epinephrine and norepinephrine enantiomers in rat plasma. l-epinephrine and l-norepinephrine were sensitively and accurately quantified while both the d-enantiomers were not detected. Additionally, epinephrine enantiomers were analyzed for stereoselective pharmacokinetics in rats after intravenous administration of racemic epinephrine for the first time. The pharmacokinetic results indicated that the disposition of epinephrine enantiomers was stereoselective and chiral inversion did not occur in rats.

PMID: 31522098 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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