Ultra-low flow nanospray for the normalization of conventional liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry through equimolar response: standard-free quantitative estimation of metabolite levels in drug discovery.
ABSTRACT Nanospray experiments were performed on an ensemble of drug molecules and their commonly known metabolites to compare performance with conventional electrospray ionization (ESI) and to evaluate equimolar response capabilities. Codeine, dextromethorphan, tolbutamide, phenobarbital, cocaine, and morphine were analyzed along with their well-known metabolites that were formed via hydroxylation, dealkylation, hydrolysis, and glucuronidation. Nanospray exhibited a distinct trend toward equimolar response when flow rate was reduced from 25 nL/min to less than 10 nL/min. A more uniform response between the parent drug and the corresponding metabolites was obtained at flow rates of 10 nL/min or lower. The largest discrepancy was within +/-50% for plasma samples. Nanospray was used as a calibrator for conventional ESI liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) and normalization factors were applied to the quantitation of an acyl-glucuronide metabolite of a proprietary compound in rat plasma. A nanospray calibration method was developed with the standard curve of the parent drug to generate quantitative results for drug metabolites within +/-20% of that obtained with reference standards and conventional ESI. The nanospray method provides a practical solution for the quantitative estimation of drug metabolites in drug discovery when reference standards are not available.
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ABSTRACT: The widely different LC-MS response observed for many structurally different compounds limits the use of LC-MS in full scan detection mode for quantitative determination of drugs and metabolites without using reference standard. The recently introduced nanospray ionization (NSI) technique shows comparable MS response for some compounds under non-LC-MS conditions. However, in the presence of numerous endogenous compounds commonly associated with biological samples such as urine, plasma, and bile, LC-MS is required to separate, detect, identify, and measure individual analytes. An LC-NSI-MS system was devised and the MS response obtained in this system for a variety of pharmaceutical drugs and their metabolites. The set-up involves two high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) systems, a chip-based NSI source and a quadrupole-time-of-flight (Q-TOF) mass spectrometer. Herein this is referred to as the response normalized-liquid chromatography NSI-MS (RNLC-NSI-MS) system. One HPLC unit performs the analytical separation, while the other unit adds solvent post-column with an exact reverse of the mobile phase composition such that the final composition entering the NSI source is isocratic throughout the entire HPLC run. The data obtained from four different structural classes of compounds [vicriviroc (VCV), desloratadine (DL), tolbutamide, and cocaine] and their metabolites indicate that by maintaining the solvent composition unchanged across the HPLC run, the influence of the solvent environment on the ionization efficiency is minimized. In comparison to responses obtained from radiochromatograms, responses from conventional LC-ESI-MS overestimated the VCV and DL responses, respectively, by 6- and 20-fold. Although VCV and DL responses obtained using LC-NSI-MS are within 2- to 6-fold from the respective radiochromatographic responses, the response normalization modification results in nearly uniform LC-NSI-MS response for all compounds evaluated.Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry 11/2007; 18(10):1891-9. · 4.00 Impact Factor