Approach to improve compound recovery in a high-throughput Caco-2 permeability assay supported by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.
ABSTRACT The Caco-2 cell culture system is widely employed as an in vitro model for prediction of intestinal absorption of test compounds in early drug discovery. Poor recovery is a commonly encountered issue in Caco-2 assay, which can lead to difficulty in data interpretation and underestimation of the apparent permeability of affected compounds. In this study, we systematically investigated the potential sources of compound loss in our automated, high-throughput Caco-2 assay, sample storage, and analysis processes, and as a result found the nonspecific binding to various plastic surfaces to be the major cause of poor compound recovery. To minimize the nonspecific binding, we implemented a simple and practical approach in our assay automation by preloading collection plates with organic solvent containing internal standard prior to transferring incubations samples. The implementation of this new method has been shown to significantly increase recovery in many compounds previously identified as having poor recovery in the Caco-2 permeability assay. With improved recovery, permeability results were obtained for many compounds that were previously not detected in the basolateral samples. In addition to recovery improvement, this new approach also simplified sample preparation for liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometric analysis and therefore achieved time and cost savings for the bioanalyst.
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ABSTRACT: RATIONALE: Multiplexed liquid chromatography (LC) coupled with multiple-injection-chromatogram acquisition has emerged as the method of choice for high-speed discovery bioanalysis, because it significantly reduces injection-to-injection cycle time while maintaining the chromatography quality. Historically, systems utilizing this approach had been custom built, and therefore relied on custom software tools to communicate with multiple vendor software for system control, which lacked transferability, flexibility and robustness. METHODS: In this study, we refined a multiplexed bioanalytical system previously reported, by implementing open-deck auto-sampler manifold and multiple-injection-chromatogram acquisition, all on a commercially available system with single software control. RESULTS: As a result of these improvements, the developed LC/tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) method on the system was nearly three times faster than the previous method, while demonstrating comparable analytical accuracy, precision and robustness. This system has been evaluated for in vitro ADME screening assays including metabolic stability, CYP inhibition and Caco-2. The biological data generated on the developed system displayed good correlation with those from the previous LC/MS/MS approaches. CONCLUSIONS: The developed platform demonstrated applicability to the in vitro screening assays evaluated and has been successfully implemented to support the high-throughput metabolic stability assay, with a significantly improved bioanalytical throughput, capacity and data turnaround. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 04/2013; 27(7):731-737. · 2.51 Impact Factor