Drug Testing and Analysis

Published by Wiley
Online ISSN: 1942-7611
Print ISSN: 1942-7603
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3-[(Adamantan-1-yl)carbonyl]-1-pentylindole (AB-001), a synthetic cannabimimetic, was identified in head shop products in Ireland in 2010. German authorities also reported it to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) via the Early Warning System (EWS) in 2011. As indole-derived cannabimimetics, such as JWH-018, JWH-073, and JWH-250, undergo extensive metabolism, it was expected that AB-001 would behave similarly. To include it in our toxicological screening protocols, we have identified its urinary metabolites in humans following oral administration. The major metabolites were found to be adamantane mono-hydroxylated and adamantane mono-hydroxylated/N-dealkylated products. No parent compound was found in urine, and metabolites were detectable for up to 160 h following administration.
 
Referred to as 'spice', several new drugs, advertised as herbal blends, have appeared on the market in the last few years, in which the synthetic cannabinoids JWH-018 and a C(8) homologue of CP 47,497 were identified as major active ingredients. Due to their reported cannabis-like effects, many European countries have banned these substances. The World Anti-Doping Agency has also explicitly prohibited synthetic cannabinoids in elite sport in-competition. Since urine specimens have been the preferred doping control samples, the elucidation of the metabolic pathways of these substances is of particular importance to implement them in sports drug testing programmes. In a recent report, an in vitro phase-I metabolism study of JWH-018 was presented yielding mainly hydroxylated and N-dealkylated metabolites. Due to these findings, a urine sample of a healthy man declaring to have smoked a 'spice' product was screened for potential phase-I and -II metabolites by high-resolution/high-accuracy mass spectrometry in the present report. The majority of the phase-I metabolites observed in earlier in vitro studies of JWH-018 were detected in this urine specimen and furthermore most of their respective monoglucuronides. As no intact JWH-018 was detectable, the monohydroxylated metabolite being the most abundant one was chosen as a target analyte for sports drug testing purposes; a detection method was subsequently developed and validated in accordance to conventional screening protocols based on enzymatic hydrolysis, liquid-liquid extraction, and liquid chromatography/electrospray tandem mass spectrometry analysis. The method was applied to approximately 7500 urine doping control samples yielding two JWH-018 findings and demonstrated its capability for a sensitive and selective identification of JWH-018 and its metabolites in human urine.
 
N-Ethyl-1,2-diphenylethylamine (NEDPA) and N-iso-propyl-1,2-diphenylethylamine (NPDPA) are two designer drugs, which were confiscated in Germany in 2008. Lefetamine (N,N-dimethyl-1,2-diphenylethylamine, also named L-SPA), the pharmaceutical lead of these designer drugs, is a controlled substance in many countries. The aim of the present work was to study the phase I and phase II metabolism of these drugs in rats and to check for their detectability in urine using the authors' standard urine screening approaches (SUSA). For the elucidation of the metabolism, rat urine samples were worked up with and without enzymatic cleavage, separated and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and liquid chromatography-high resolution-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-HR-MS/MS). According to the identified metabolites, the following metabolic pathways for NEDPA and NPDPA could be proposed: N-dealkylation, mono- and bis-hydroxylation of the benzyl ring followed by methylation of one of the two hydroxy groups, combinations of these steps, hydroxylation of the phenyl ring after N-dealkylation, glucuronidation and sulfation of all hydroxylated metabolites. Application of a 0.3 mg/kg BW dose of NEDPA or NPDPA, corresponding to a common lefetamine single dose, could be monitored in rat urine using the authors' GC-MS and LC-MS(n) SUSA. However, only the metabolites could be detected, namely N-deethyl-NEDPA, N-deethyl-hydroxy-NEDPA, hydroxy-NEDPA, and hydroxy-methoxy-NEDPA or N-de-iso-propyl-NPDPA, N-de-iso-propyl-hydroxy-NPDPA, and hydroxy-NPDPA. Assuming similar kinetics, an intake of these drugs should also be detectable in human urine. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
1,3-Dimethylamylamine (DMAA) is a stimulant existing in various pre-workout supplements and often labelled as part of geranium plants. The safety and origin of DMAA in these supplements is the subject of intense debate. In this study, the enantiomeric and diastereomeric ratios of two different known synthetic DMAA compounds, as well as the total concentrations of DMAA and its stereoisomeric ratios in 13 different supplements, were determined by gas chromatography. The stereoisomeric ratios of DMAA in the synthetic standards and in all the commercial supplements were indistinguishable. Eight different commercial geranium extracts of different geographical origins (China and the Middle East) were examined for the presence of DMAA by high performance liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS). No DMAA was detected in any of the eight geranium products with a limit of detection of 10 parts per billion (w/w). Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
This paper discusses a design of experiments (DoE) assisted optimization and robustness testing of a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method development for the trace analysis of the potentially genotoxic 1,3-diisopropylurea (IPU) impurity in mometasone furoate glucocorticosteroid. Compared to the conventional trial-and-error method development, DoE is a cost-effective and systematic approach to system optimization by which the effects of multiple parameters and parameter interactions on a given response are considered. The LC and MS factors were studied simultaneously: flow (F), gradient (G), injection volume (Vinj ), cone voltage (Econ ), and collision energy (Ecol ). The optimization was carried out with respect to four responses: separation of peaks (Sep), peak area (Ap ), length of the analysis (T), and the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N). An optimization central composite face (CCF) DoE was conducted leading to the early discovery of carry-over effect which was further investigated in order to establish the maximum injectable sample load. A second DoE was conducted in order to obtain the optimal LC-MS/MS method. As part of the validation of the obtained method, its robustness was determined by conducting a fractional factorial of resolution III DoE, wherein column temperature and quadrupole resolution were considered as additional factors. The method utilizes a common Phenomenex Gemini NX C-18 HPLC analytical column with electrospray ionization and a triple quadrupole mass detector in multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode, resulting in short analyses with a 10-min runtime. The high sensitivity and low limit of quantification (LOQ) was achieved by (1) MRM mode (instead of single ion monitoring) and (2) avoiding the drawbacks of derivatization (incomplete reaction and time-consuming sample preparation). Quantitatively, the DoE method development strategy resulted in the robust trace analysis of IPU at 1.25 ng/mL absolute concentration corresponding to 0.25 ppm LOQ in 5 g/l mometasone furoate glucocorticosteroid. Validation was carried out in a linear range of 0.25-10 ppm and presented a relative standard deviation (RSD) of 1.08% for system precision. Regarding IPU recovery in mometasone furoate, spiked samples produced recoveries between 96 and 109 % in the range of 0.25 to 2 ppm. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
1,3 dimethylamylamine or methylexaneamine (DMAA) is a synthetic pharmaceutical patented in the 1940s as a nasal decongestant which can be used as a recreational stimulant. Alleged to occur in nature, DMAA has become a widely used ingredient in sports food supplements, despite its status as a doping agent and concerns over its safety. There is now some doubt as to whether it can be sourced naturally or whether it actually occurs naturally at all. The presence of DMAA was investigated by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) in extracts of the leaves and stems of four geranium species and of three well-known cultivars. The amounts of DMAA in commercial geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) oil and the leading sports supplement which uses the ingredient were also measured. DMAA was not found in any of the leaves or stems or in the commercial geranium oil included in this study. Approximately 30 mg per daily dose was found in the food supplement. Therefore, the amount of DMAA found in the supplement is most unlikely to have been sourced in nature, and it must be concluded that synthetic DMAA, known to be capable of causing severe adverse physiological effects, has been added. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
1,3-Dimethylamylamine (DMAA) is a sympathomimetic compound currently incorporated into some dietary supplements. Significant controversy exists regarding the 'natural' origin of DMAA, as claimed by manufacturers of supplements. Manufacturers often refer to its presence by the name Geranamine® implying that DMAA is found in the plant species Geranium and Pelargonium known collectively as Geraniaceae. This study determined whether DMAA is present in the plant species, Geranium and Pelargonium. In addition, concentrations of DMAA in popular dietary supplements and commercial Geranium and Pelargonium oils were assessed. One Pelargonium cultivar, one Geranium cultivar, three essential oils from Pelargonium or Geranium, raw DMAA powder, and seven dietary supplements (DS) sold as finished products and labelled as containing DMAA, or one of its synonyms, were analyzed for the presence of DMAA by ultra performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS). No measurable levels of DMAA in Geranium, Pelargonium or essential oils at a detection limit of 1-2 ng/g were present. UPLC/MS/MS analysis confirmed the presence of DMAA in spiked plant and oil samples, all seven DS products, and raw DMAA powder. Concentrations (weight%) of DMAA provided in DS ranged from 0.11% to 673%. This study indicates DMAA contained in DS is of a synthetic origin and is not present in the plant species Geranium and Pelargonium; thus the 'natural' origin and use of DMAA as an ingredient in DS is not substantiated. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) has been used as a recreational drug since the 1990s and over the last few years there has been increasing use of its analogues gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) and to a lesser extent 1,4-butanediol (1,4BD). This review will summarize the literature on the pharmacology of these compounds; the patterns and management of acute toxicity associated with their use; and the clinical patterns of presentation and management of chronic dependency associated with GHB and its analogues.
 
Recent studies outlined the influence of exercise on the stability of the skeletal muscle calstabin1-ryanodine receptor1-complex, which represents a major Ca(2+) release channel. The progressive modification of the type-1 skeletal muscle ryanodine receptor (RyR1) combined with reduced levels of calstabin1 and phosphodiesterase PDE4D3 resulted in a Ca(2+) leak that has been a suggested cause of muscle damage and impaired exercise capacity. The use of 1,4-benzothiazepine derivatives such as the drug candidates JTV-519 and S-107 enhanced rebinding of calstabin1 to RyR1 and resulted in significantly improved skeletal muscle function and exercise performance in rodents. Due to the fact that the mechanism of RyR1 remodelling under exercise conditions were proven to be similar in mice and humans, a comparable effect of JTV-519 and S-107 on trained athletes is expected, making the compounds relevant for doping controls. After synthesis of JTV-519, S-107, and a putative desmethylated metabolite of S-107, target compounds were characterized using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and electrospray ionization (ESI)-high-resolution/high-accuracy Orbitrap mass spectrometry. Collision-induced dissociation pathways were suggested based on the determination of elemental compositions of product ions and H/D-exchange experiments. The most diagnostic product ion of JTV-519 was found at m/z 188 (representing the 4-benzyl-1-methyl piperidine residue), and S-107 as well as its desmethylated analog yielded characteristic fragments at m/z 153 and 138 (accounting for 1-methoxy-4-methylsulfanyl-benzene and 4-methoxy-benzenethiol residues, respectively). The analytes were implemented in existing doping control screening procedures based on liquid chromatography, multiple reaction monitoring and simultaneous precursor ion scanning modes using a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer. Validation items such as specificity, recovery (68-92%), lower limit of detection (0.1-0.2 ng/mL), intraday (5.2-18.5%) and interday (8.7-18.8%) precision as well as ion suppression/enhancement effects were determined.
 
Although synthetic cannabinoids have been intensively investigated in recent years and oral fluid testing is becoming increasingly popular in suspected driving under the influence of drugs cases, only scarce data on their stability in authentic neat oral fluid (nOF) samples are yet available. However, especially for these new psychoactive drugs, investigations focusing on stability issues are necessary as inappropriate storage conditions may lead to considerable analytical problems. Since it has been shown for Δ(9) -tetrahydrocannabinol that adsorption to plastic surfaces may lead to considerable drug loss, we aimed to evaluate whether adsorption also has to be taken into account for synthetic cannabinoids in nOF samples. In this paper, the results of investigations on the recovery of 11 prevalent synthetic cannabinoids from authentic nOF samples stored over 72 h in RapidEASE (high quality borosilicate glass) and Sciteck Saliva Split Collector (polypropylene) tubes at 4 and 25 °C are presented. Our findings clearly demonstrate that lipophilic synthetic cannabinoids present in nOF samples adsorb to the surface of polypropylene containers when stored at room temperature, leading to considerable drug loss. Hence, when using polypropylene tubes, samples should be shipped cooled in order to avoid a substantial decrease of the analyte concentration during transportation. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
The identification of 11-nor-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid (THCCOOH) in hair represents an exceptional forensic analytical challenge due to low target concentrations in a complex matrix. Several dedicated techniques [gas chromatography - negative chemical ionization- tandem mass spectrometry (GC-NCI-MS/MS) or GC-GC-MS couplings] were specifically introduced into forensic toxicology aiming to a selective and sensitive identification of THCCOOH in hair. The combination of liquid-chromatography (LC) and MS/MS gained an outstanding relevance in forensic toxicology (including the detection of cannabinoids). However, its application to hair matrix is characterized by a lack of specificity which is due to the unspecific decarboxylation as most abundant fragmentation reaction. Therefore, various chemical modifications of the carboxyl and/or phenolic hydroxyl groups were examined to improve the selectivity. The selective methylation of the 9-carboxyl-group proved to be the most efficient derivatization procedure. Hair extracts were redissolved in acetonitrile and after addition of few milligrams of solid sodium carbonate derivatized with 25 μL methyl iodide. The resulting THC-9-carboxymethylester was separated by conventional reverse phase LC and selectively detected using negative electrospray ionization by recording the fragmentation reactions 357➔325 and 357➔297. Resulting limits of quantification were below 100 fg/mg. A further significant improvement was achieved by application of the multistage MS3 fragmentation 357➔325➔297. To verify the validity of this procedure, a systematic quantitative comparison of THCCOOH concentrations in hair with data from a well established GC-NCI-MS/MS technique was performed. Both techniques proved to be in good accordance (R(2) =0.647, p = <0.001) and equally suitable for hair testing of THCCOOH. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Traditionally, regulatory monitoring of veterinary drug residues in food animal tissues involves the use of several single-class methods to cover a wide analytical scope. Multi-class, multi-residue methods (MMMs) of analysis tend to provide greater overall laboratory efficiency than the use of multiple methods, and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) of targeted drug analytes usually provides exceptional performance even for complicated sample extracts. In this work, an LC-MS/MS method was optimized and validated in a test of 120 drug analytes from 11 different classes in bovine kidney. The method used 10 ml of 4/1 acetonitrile/water for extraction of 2 g samples and cleanup with hexane partitioning. Quantitative and qualitative performance was assessed for the analytes at fortification levels of 10, 50, 100, and 200 ng/g. With the method, 66 drugs gave 70-120% recovery with ≤ 20% RSD at all levels over the course of 3 days. At the 200 ng/g level, 89 drugs met these same standards. Limits of detection were ≤ 10 ng/g for 109 of the analytes in the kidney matrix in validation experiments. Qualitatively, MS/MS identification criteria were set that ion ratios occur within ± 10% (absolute value) from those of the analyte reference standards. At the 10 ng/g level, 57% of the drugs met the identification criteria, which improved to 84% at the 200 ng/g level. The method serves as an efficient and useful additional option among the current monitoring methods available.
 
Several peptide drugs are being manufactured illicitly, and in some cases they are being made available to the public before entering or completing clinical trials. At the request of Norwegian police and customs authorities, unknown pharmaceutical preparations suspected to contain peptide drugs are regularly subjected to analysis. In 2009, an unknown pharmaceutical preparation was submitted for analysis by liquid chromatography-high resolution tandem mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS/MS). The preparation was found to contain a 29 amino acid peptide with a C-terminal amide function. Based on the interpretation of mass spectrometric data, an amino acid sequence was proposed. The sequence is consistent with a peptide currently marketed under the name CJC-1295. CJC-1295 is a releasing factor for growth hormone and is therefore considered a Prohibited Substance under Section S2 of the WADA Prohibited List. This substance has potential performance-enhancing effects, it is readily available, and there is reason to believe that it is being used within the bodybuilding community.
 
Epitestosterone (17α-hydroxy-androst-4-en-3-one, EpiT) belongs to the list of prohibited substances of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Although it possesses no anabolic effect, it is presumed to be misused by athletes in order to mask administration of testosterone (T) by lowering the urinary T/EpiT ratio. To improve detection, an excretion study with 40 mg of orally administered EpiT was conducted focusing on the metabolites of EpiT: 5α- and 5β-androstane-3α,17 α-diol (5aEpiD and 5bEpiD). A reference population of n = 74 volunteers was investigated to elucidate the urinary concentrations of these steroids. In order to prove whether an unusual finding in urinary concentrations or ratios is due to an illicit intake of steroids or due to physiological elevation, determination of carbon isotope ratios is advisable. A method for isotope ratio determination was developed to enable 13C/12C ratios of EpiT, 5bEpiD, 5aEpiD, pregnanediol and androsterone and etiocholanolone to be measured from a single urine specimen. The method's validity was tested by applying linear mixing models and specificity was ensured by means of gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis. δ13C values at natural levels were determined with a reference population and both Δ values and corresponding reference limits were calculated. Considering the implemented EpiT-metabolites, a more than twofold extension of the detection time of EpiT administration was achieved with both the urinary concentration thresholds and the 13C/12C ratios. Copyright
 
Boldenone (androsta-1,4-dien-17beta-ol-3-one, Bo) is an anabolic steroid known to have been used in cattle breeding or equine sport as a doping agent for many years. Although not clinically approved for human application, Bo or its main metabolite 5beta-androst-1-en-17beta-ol-3-one (BM1) were detected in several doping control samples. For more than 15 years the possibility of endogenous Bo production in human beings has been discussed. This is a challenging issue for doping control laboratories as Bo belongs to the list of prohibited substances of the World Anti-Doping Agency and therefore the chance for false positive testing is significant. By GC/C/IRMS (gas chromatography/combustion/isotope ratio mass spectrometry) it should be possible to analyze the (13)C/(12)C ratio of either Bo or BM1 and to distinguish whether their source is endogenous or exogenous. Therefore a method was developed to determine the (13)C/(12)C ratios of Bo, BM1, pregnanediol, androsterone, etiocholanolone, and testosterone from a single urine specimen. The validity of the method was ensured by repeated processing of urine fortified with 2-50 ng/mL Bo and BM1. The specificity of the method was ensured by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry determinations. Out of 23 samples investigated throughout the last four years, 11 showed (13)C/(12)C ratios of Bo or BM1 inconsistent with an exogenous origin. Two of these samples were collected from the same athlete within a one-month interval, strongly indicating the chance of endogenous Bo production by this athlete.
 
The degradation processes in deficiently stored urine samples are well investigated regarding steroid concentrations and diagnostic ratios, such as the quotient of testosterone divided by epitestosterone. In contrast, nothing is known about the influence on carbon isotope ratios (CIR) by inappropriate storage conditions. In general, it is assumed that degradation, i.e. deconjugation or dehydrogenation, does not change CIR and thus CIR can be used in cases where the steroid profile turns out to be invalid. Therefore, the CIR of urinary steroids was investigated in different urine samples during the course of degradation over a time period of six months. Several steroids excreted as glucuronides (androsterone (A), etiocholanolone (E), testosterone, pregnanediol (PD) and 5α- and 5β-androstane-3α,17β-diol) or sulfo-conjugated (A, E and androst-5-ene-3β,17β-diol (5EN17b)) were investigated together with their unconjugated correspondents (A, E, PD and 5EN17b) and the main dehydrogenation products (5α- and 5β-androstane-3,17-dion and androst-4-ene-3,17-dion). For this purpose, the exiting methods for CIR determination were extended and validated. In addition, the urinary concentrations of all investigated steroids were monitored. Particular attention was paid to dehydroepiandrosterone conjugated and unconjugated together with its degradation product 3α,5-cyclo-5α-androstan-6β-ol-17-one as here the strongest influence on CIR was expected.
 
In order to detect the misuse of endogenous anabolic steroids such as testosterone by athletes a total of n = 1734 suspicious urine samples were investigated by gas chromatography/combustion/isotope ratio mass spectrometry throughout the years 2005, 2006 and 2007. The (13)C/(12)C ratio of a target substance (androsterone, a testosterone metabolite) was compared to the (13)C/(12)C ratio of an endogenous reference compound (11beta-hydroxyandrosterone).N = 1340 samples were investigated due to elevated testosterone/epitestosterone ratios, with n = 87 (6.5%) exceptional findings regarding their isotopic ratios. An additional n = 164 samples were investigated because of elevated dehydroepiandrosterone concentrations, with n = 2 (1.2%) exceptional findings. The remainder were subjected to isotope ratio analysis because of elevated androsterone levels or because this was requested by sports federations.Significant differences between female and male samples were found for the (13)C/(12)C ratios of androsterone and 11beta-hydroxyandrosterone but not for samples taken in or out of competition.A further n = 645 samples originating from other World Anti-Doping Agency accredited laboratories, mainly throughout Europe as well as South America, South Africa and Southeast Asia, were investigated. The (13)C/(12)C ratios of the urinary steroids differ significantly for each geographical region, reflecting the dietary status of the individuals.The system stability over time has been tested by repeated injections of a standard solution and repeated processing of frozen stored blank urine. Despite a drift over time in absolute (13)C/(12)C ratios, no significant change in the difference of (13)C/(12)C (11beta-hydroxyandrosterone) minus (13)C/(12)C (androsterone) could be observed.
 
For the detection of possible misuse of naturally occurring anabolic androgenic steroids like testosterone (T), anti-doping laboratories use a combination of two techniques. One is molecular steroid profiling to evaluate urinary steroid concentrations and normal diagnostic ratios. The other is isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS), in which the 13C/12C ratios of target analytes like T are compared to the 13C/12C ratios of endogenous reference compounds (ERCs). The 13C/12C of the most commonly used ERC, pregnanediol (5β-pregnane-3α,20α-diol, PD), can be influenced by administration of pregnenolone (3β-hydroxy-pregn-5-en-20-one, PREG). Therefore PREG administration bears the potential to circumvent IRMS testing for doping control samples. In order to investigate the influence of PREG on PD and on other urinary excreted steroids, administration studies with oral and transdermal application of PREG were carried out. The influence of PREG administration on concentrations and 13C/12C ratios of all investigated target analytes was negligible. Only PD and 5β-pregnan-3α-ol-20-one (3aP) showed significant depletion in both their glucuronidated and sulfated steroids. The results suggest that appropriate alternative ERCs are: 11β-hydroxy-androsterone/etiocholanolone, 5β-pregnane-3α,17,20α-triol, pregn-5-ene-3β,17,20α-triol and cholesterol. Due to its properties to disguise the misuse of anabolic steroids by influencing the 13C/12C ratio of PD, PREG should be considered to be added to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) list of prohibited substances as a masking agent. Copyright
 
A rapid and sensitive liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method has been developed and validated for the determination of the active metabolite (R-138727) of prasugrel in human plasma. Because R-138727 contains a thiol group, it requires stabilization by derivatizing with N-ethyl maleimide. Commercially available trandolapril was used as the internal standard (IS). The derivatives of R-138727 and IS were extracted from human plasma using a liquid-liquid extraction technique. Chromatography was performed on a Hypurity C18, 5 µ (50 mm × 4.6 mm, i.d.) column, with the mobile phase consisting of acetonitrile and 10 mM ammonium formate (pH 3.0, 50:50 V/V), followed by detection using mass spectrometry. No significant endogenous peaks corresponding to R-138727 or IS were detected in the blank human plasma samples and no significant matrix effect was observed for R-138727 and IS in the human plasma samples. The mean recovery for R-138727 ranged from 90.1 to 104.1%, with the lower limit of quantification set at 1 ng/ml. Linearity was established for concentrations in the range of 1.0-500.12 ng/ml, with a coefficient of determination (r(2) ) of 0.9958. The derivatized R-138727 was stable in human plasma for 3 months at -20 °C. This method increased the sensitivity and selectivity, resulting in high-throughput analysis of R-138727 using trandolapril as the IS in pharmacokinetic and bioequivalence studies, with a chromatographic run time of 3.7 min.
 
The second programme of its kind globally, the highly successful, collaborative, productive and energizing IFDAT—International Forum for Drug and Alcohol Testing, was held in Barcelona, Spain, from 12–14 April. IFDAT was attended by over 100 delegates, conference sponsors and exhibitors from the international workplace drug and alcohol testing industry. Representing over 20 countries, the delegate professionals, speakers, and presenters included employers, service agents, an international publisher, and workplace testing suppliers. The purpose of the forum was to exchange knowledge, learn about new technology, and support the evolution and growth of the emerging international workplace drug and alcohol testing industry. This purpose was accomplished. Delegates from around the globe exchanged their experiences and thoughts about effective workplace drug testing programmes over two days of intensive presentations and panel discussions. The presenters and panelists included drug and alcohol testing professionals, authorities, and intellectuals from around the world. IFDAT conferences are planned for every 18 months, and the next Forum, to be held in Houston, Texas, USA is in the planning process for 2011. Copyright
 
The synthetic cannabinoid, UR-144 ((1-pentyl-1H-indol-3-yl)(2,2,3,3-tetramethylcyclopropyl)methanone), was identified in commercial ‘legal high’ products (herbal, resin, and powder). Along with this, six related compounds were detected. The most abundant one (2.1) was identified as 4-hydroxy-3,3,4-trimethyl-1-(1-pentyl-1H-indol-3-yl)pentan-1-one, a product of the electrophilic addition of water to the cyclopropane moiety in UR-144. Compound 2.1 was found to be undergo cyclisation which leads to the formation of two additional interconvertable compounds (2.3, tentatively identified as 1-pentyl-3-(4,4,5,5-tetramethyl-4,5-dihydrofuran-2-yl)-1H-indole which is stable only in absence of water and also observed as GC artifact) and 2.2, a protonated derivative of 2.3 which is formed in acidic solutions. The remaining compounds were identified as possible degradation products of the group 2 compounds (4,4,5,5-tetramethyldihydrofuran-2(3H)-one and 1-pentylindoline-2,3-dione) and intermediates or by-products from the synthesis of UR-144 ((1H-indol-3-yl)(2,2,3,3-tetramethylcyclopropyl)methanone, 1-pentyl-1H-indole and 1-(1-pentyl-1H-indol-3-yl)hexan-1-one). Pyrolysis of herbal products containing the group 2 compounds or UR-144 resulted in the formation of 3,3,4-trimethyl-1-(1-pentyl-1H-indol-3-yl)pent-4-en-1-one (3). This was confirmed by separate pyrolysis of 2.1 and UR-144. Also, the two additional minor compounds, 1-(1-pentyl-1H-indol-3-yl)ethanone and 1-(1-pentyl-1H-indol-3-yl)propan-1-one, were detected. Pathways for these transformations are presented. Copyright
 
Synthetic cannabinoids are the psychotropic compounds frequently identified as active components of smoking mixtures easily available via the Internet in several countries. These herbal blends have become extremely popular as a legal alternative to cannabis-based products and are difficult to detect by regular drug tests. Here we report on an in vitro and in vivo metabolism of AM-2201, 1-[(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indol-3-yl]-(naphthalen-1-yl)methanone, and UR-144 (KM-X1), (1-pentylindol-3-yl)-(2,2,3,3-tetramethylcyclopropyl)methanone isolated using preparative liquid chromatography from the smoking mixtures sold in Russia. After incubation with human liver microsomes (HLM) as well as with cytochrome isoenzymes 3A4 and 2B6, the metabolic pathways were identified by means of liquid chromatography – triple quadrupole and high resolution mass spectrometry with electrospray ionization in positive mode. It was found that the in vitro reactions include mono- and dihydroxylation, loss of N-alkyl side chain and formation of dihydrodiol metabolites in case of AM-2201. The HLM were found to be superior over the other two isoenzymes for generation of cannabinoid metabolites. Finally, forensic urine samples were analyzed to validate the in vitro data and it has been shown that for both cannabimimetics the recommended screening targets are the monohydroxylated metabolites. Copyright
 
Fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEEs) are minor ethanol metabolites that can accumulate in hair. The performance of hair FAEEs as a biomarker that can discriminate null or moderate drinking from risky, excessive drinking was verified by evaluating the relationship between self-reported daily alcohol intake and FAEE concentration in hair. The study subjects were 160 healthy volunteers (52% female) that included teetotallers, moderate/social drinkers (< 60 g of ethanol per day), and heavy drinkers (≥ 60 g/day).The estimated daily alcohol intake (EDAI) was assessed by a specific written questionnaire aimed at estimating the measure and the frequency of alcohol drinking and at excluding confounding factors. FAEEs (ethyl myristate, ethyl palmitate, ethyl oleate, and ethyl stearate) were extracted from the hair matrix by overnight incubation in n-hexane/dimethylsulphoxide, purified by solid-phase extraction (SPE) and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) in selected ion monitoring and Electron ionization (EI) mode, using pentadeuterated internal standards. Hair samples exhibited FAEE concentrations (expressed as the sum of the four esters, CFAEE ) ranging from 0.01 to 10.78 ng/mg (average 1.16 and median 0.60 ng/mg). The EDAI was from 0 to 246 g of ethanol per day, average 28 g/day and median 15 g/day. A cut-off of 0.5 ng/mg in 3 cm of a proximal hair segment was adopted to discriminate social drinking from excessive ethanol consumption. False positive samples were identified in subjects using ethanol-containing hair lotions and women on estroprogestin therapy. Specificity of 87% was reached when the identified false positives were excluded from data elaboration. CFAEE in hair at a predetermined cut-off can be used to discriminate between moderate and excessive drinking only when confounding factors are meticulously removed. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
The Dermorphins are a family of peptides that act as potent agonists of the opioid μ receptor. Originally identified as a seven amino acid peptide on the skin of the South American Phyllomedusa frog, peptide chemists have since developed a large number of Dermorphin variants, many with superior opioid activity to the original peptide. Dermorphins are unique among the peptide opioid agonists as they appear to have a limited ability to cross the blood brain barrier, producing effects on both the central and peripheral nervous systems. It is this ability of Dermorphins to provide central anaesthesia after intravenous or subcutaneous administration that allows their use as analogues of the opioid class of drugs. Recently, illicit use of the Dermorphin peptide in the racing industry has shown the need for an analytical method to control the use of these peptides. We present a high-throughput liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry screen for 17 Dermorphin peptides in equine urine and plasma with limits of detection down to 5 pg/mL. The peptide extraction technique is also suitable for use in human urine. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
The illicit use of growth promoters in animal husbandry has frequently been reported in the past. Among the drugs misused to illegally increase the benefit of stock farming, clenbuterol has held a unique position due to the substance's composition, mechanism of action, metabolism, and disposition. Particularly clenbuterol's disposition in animals' edible tissues destined for food production can cause considerable issues on consumption by elite athletes registered in national and international doping control systems as demonstrated in this case-related study. Triggered by five adverse analytical findings with clenbuterol among the Mexican national soccer team in out-of-competition controls in May 2011, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) initiated an inquest into a potential food contamination (and thus sports drug testing) problem in Mexico, the host country of the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2011. Besides 208 regular doping control samples, which were subjected to highly sensitive mass spectrometric test methods for anabolic agents, 47 meat samples were collected in team hotels during the period of the tournament and forwarded to Institute of Food Safety, RIKILT.
 
The formulation TB-500 is suspected to be used as doping agent in sport. This work describes the detection and the identification of the N-terminal acetylated 17-23 fragment of human thymosin beta 4 (Ac-LKKTETQ) in TB-500 by means of high-performance liquid chromatography/high resolution mass spectrometry using an Orbitrap Exactive benchtop mass spectrometer. Ac-LKKTETQ was also synthesized by solid-phase peptide synthesis, and an analytical strategy for detection in plasma and urine by high-performance liquid chromatography/low resolution triple-quadrupole mass spectrometry was suggested.
 
Laboratories involved in the analyses of veterinary drug residues are under increasing pressure to demonstrate that they produce meaningful and reliable data. Quality assurance and quality control systems are implemented in laboratories to provide evidence of this and these are subject to external assessment to ensure that they are effective. Audits to ISO/IEC 17025:2005, an internationally accepted standard, and subsequent accreditation provide laboratories and their customers with a degree of assurance that the laboratories are operating in control and the data they report can be relied on. However, national or regional authorities may place additional requirements on laboratories to ensure quality data are reported. For example, in the European Union, all official control laboratories involved in veterinary drug residue analyses must also meet the requirements of European Commission Decision 2002/657/EC which sets performance criteria for analytical methods used in this area and these are subject to additional audits by national or regional authorities. All audits place considerable time and resource demands on laboratories and this paper discusses the burden audits place on laboratories and describes a UK initiative to combine these audits to the benefit of both the regulatory authority and the laboratory.
 
Dietary supplements containing 17α-methyl-2,3-epithio-5α-androstane-17β-ol (17α-methylepithiostanol), which is a 17-methylated analogue of epithiostanol or a prodrug of desoxymethyltestosterone (17α-methyl-5α-androst-2-en-17β-ol), have recently appeared on the Internet. 17α-Methylepithiostanol and desoxymethyltestosterone are classified as prohibited substances on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) list. Two preparations, EPISTANE™ and P-PLEX™, were obtained from the Internet so that their contents could be investigated. This study involved gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis after trimethylsilyl (TMS) derivatization, liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) in atmospheric pressure photoionization (APPI) mode and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Analysis using LC/MS in APPI mode would be a useful tool for detecting heat-labile and non-polar steroids. Although the labelling of EPISTANE™ indicates that it contains 17α-methyl-2α, 3α-epithio-5α-androstane-17β-ol only, 17α-methyl-2β,3β-epithio-5α-androstane-17β-ol and desoxymethyltestosterone were identified in the supplement. The results showed that P-PLEX™ contained desoxymethyltestosterone and its isomer 17α-methyl-5α-androst-3-en-17β-ol. Urine samples can be screened after EPISTANE™ or P-PLEX™ administration using the normal screening procedure for anabolic steroids with GC/MS. Copyright
 
Fast and accurate analysis is a prerequisite in all analytical fields especially in food, biological, pharmaceutical, and environmental samples. The new trend of ultra performance liquid chromatography (LC) has the main drawback of expensive instrumentation, which can't be easily found in low-budget analytical laboratories. The evolution of core shell technology has contributed to this direction, since ultra high efficiency can be achieved on common LC instrument platforms. Herein the novel core shell analytical column, KINETEX ™2.6 µm, (150 mm × 4.6 mm) was comparatively studied against two conventional reversed-phase silica-based and one monolithic column. Eight antimicrobial agents representing two different classes: penicillins and amphenicols, were separated using a typical 400 bar high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) equipment. Comparison of column performance was carried out by calculation of the number of theoretical plates N, the tailing factor Tf, the relative retention time RRT, the retention factor k, the resolution factor Rs, and the precision of the retention time and peak area. Optimal chromatographic conditions were used to validate the method. Its applicability was proven by the analysis of veterinary drug formulations. The examined antibiotics were well resolved within 17 min. Limit of quantitation values were 25.9 ng for amoxicillin, 14.1 ng for ampicillin, 41.6 ng for thiamphenicol, 9.6 ng for oxacillin, 23.5 ng for florfenicol, 26.7 for cloxacillin, 23.5 ng for chloramphenicol and 42.3 ng for dicloxacillin for 20 µL injection volume. The developed method can be easily and readily transferred to any laboratory. Copyright
 
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Three indole alkaloids that possess differing degrees of psychotropic/psychedelic activity have been reported as endogenous substances in humans; N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), 5-hydroxy-DMT (bufotenine, HDMT), and 5-methoxy-DMT (MDMT). We have undertaken a critical review of 69 published studies reporting the detection or detection and quantitation of these compounds in human body fluids. In reviewing this literature, we address the methods applied and the criteria used in the determination of the presence of DMT, MDMT, and HDMT. The review provides a historical perspective of the research conducted from 1955 to 2010, summarizing the findings for the individual compounds in blood, urine, and/or cerebrospinal fluid. A critique of the data is offered that addresses the strengths and weaknesses of the methods and approaches to date. The review also discusses the shortcomings of the existing data in light of more recent findings and how these may be overcome. Suggestions for the future directions of endogenous psychedelics research are offered.
 
Dietary supplements and medicines are widely marketed over the Internet. Such products may be counterfeited and lack some or all of the labelled ingredients, or, in the case of lifestyle supplements, illegally contain pharmacologically active substances, such as anorectic or androgenic compounds. The market control - especially in the case of customs seizures - is complex, as reference substances necessary for identification and calibration in traditional high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) or gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis are often unavailable, or extremely expensive. In this study, we introduce a 400 MHz (1) H NMR methodology, which allows identification and quantitative estimation even without such pure compound standards. The identification can be based on literature spectra, or if these data are unavailable, by applying computational NMR spectra prediction. For standardless NMR determination, simple peak-area comparison of the target compound with the TSP reference was used. The applicability was demonstrated for a wide range of compounds, such as mesterolone, oxymetholone, sibutramine, monacolin K, vinpocetine, evodiamine, caffeine, kavain, and dehydroepiandrosterone. The average relative standard deviations were 5.0% for peak area comparison, and 3.3% for external calibration with standard substance. The method uncertainty is therefore higher in standardless determination, but acceptable for the purpose of proving the presence or absence of pharmacologically active substances. The limit of detection of 0.5-2 mg/kg is sufficient for the purpose. NMR is ideally suited to controlling dietary supplements or illegal medicines as it provides qualitative and at least semi-quantitative information more rapidly (measurement time 20 min) than with any other currently available spectroscopic or chromatographic method. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Recently, a number of cases of smuggling dissolved cocaine in wine bottles have been reported. The aim of the present study was to determine whether cocaine dissolved in wine can be detected by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1) H MRS) on a standard clinical MR scanner, in intact (i.e. unopened) wine bottles. (1) H MRS experiments were performed with a 3 Tesla clinical scanner on wine phantoms with or without cocaine contamination. The aromatic protons of cocaine displayed resonance peaks in the 7-8 ppm region of the spectrum, where no overlapping resonances of wine were present. Additional cocaine resonances were detected in the 2-3 ppm region of the spectrum, between the resonances of ethanol and other wine constituents. Detection of cocaine in wine (at 5 mM, i.e. ∼1.5 g/L) was feasible in a scan time of 1 min. We conclude that dissolved cocaine can be detected in intact wine bottles, on a standard clinical MR scanner. Thus, (1) H MRS is the technique of choice to examine this type of suspicious cargo, since it allows for a non-destructive and rapid content characterization.
 
AM-694 (1-[(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indol-3-yl]-(2-iodophenyl)methanone), a synthetic indole-based cannabimimetic, was first reported to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) via the Early Warning System (EWS) by Irish authorities in 2010. Using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), we have identified six AM-694 metabolites in post-ingestion samples. The metabolites were tentatively identified as products of (1) hydrolytic defluorination, (2) carboxylation, (3) monohydroxylation of N-alkyl chain, and (4) hydrolytic defluorination combined with monohydroxylation of N-alkyl chain. The parent compound was not detected. The excretion of major metabolites was observed up to 117 h following administration. One metabolite (a product of hydrolytic defluorination) was also identified in urine samples from two individuals admitted to hospital suffering from suspected drug overdoses. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Tris(2,2'-bipyridine)ruthenium(II) chemiluminescence was investigated for the detection of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and several related compounds in street drug samples. Optimization using flow injection analysis showed that the selectivity of the reagent can be targeted towards the detection of secondary amines by altering the pH of the reaction environment. The greater selectivity of this mode of detection, compared to UV-absorbance, reduces the probability of false positive results from interfering compounds. The detection limit for MDMA under these conditions was 0.48 μM. A HPLC method incorporating post-column tris(2,2'-bipyridine)ruthenium(II) chemiluminescence detection was applied to the determination of MDMA in five street drug samples. The results obtained were in good agreement with quantification performed using traditional UV-absorbance detection, which demonstrates the viability of this method for confirmatory analysis of drug samples. This is the first report of tris(2,2'-bipyridine)ruthenium(II) chemiluminescence for the detection of MDMA and related amphetamine derivatives. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
A series of regioisomeric bromodimethoxyamphetamines have mass spectra essentially equivalent to the controlled drug substance 4-Br-2,5-dimethoxyamphetamine (4-Br-2,5-DMA; DOB); all have molecular weight of 274 and major fragment ions in their electron ionization mass spectra at m/z 44 and m/z 230/232. The trifluoroacetyl, pentafluoropropionyl and heptafluorobutryl derivatives of the primary regioisomeric amines were prepared and evaluated in gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) studies. The mass spectra for these derivatives did not show unique fragment ions for specific identification of individual isomers. However, the mass spectra do serve to divide the compounds into three groups, depending on their base peak. Gas chromatography with infrared detection (GC-IRD) provides direct confirmatory data for the identification of the designer drug 4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyamphetamine from the other regioisomers involved in the study. The perfluoroacylated derivatives of the six regioisomeric bromodimethoxyamphetamines were successfully resolved on non-polar stationary phases such as a 100% dimethylpolysiloxane stationary phase (Rtx-1) and 50% phenyl - 50% methyl polysiloxane (Rxi-50).
 
We present a case of 4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxy-N-[(2-methoxyphenyl)methyl]-benzeneethanamine (25B-NBOMe), an N-benzyl phenethylamines derivative, intoxication and a high performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) method for detection and quantification of 25B-NBOMe. A 19-year-old male was found unresponsive with generalized grand mal seizure activity. On the second day of hospitalization, a friend admitted that the patient used 'some unknown drug' called 25B. Serum and urine collected were sent to the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center Toxicology Laboratory for analysis. An HPLC-MS/MS method for the identification and quantification of 25B-NBOMe using 2-(2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25H-NBOMe) as the internal standard (ISTD) was developed. As this is a novel, single-case presentation, an assay validation was performed prior to testing to ensure the reliability of the analytical results. The serum and urine specimens were determined to contain 180 pg/ml and1900 pg/ml of 25B-NBOMe, respectively. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
This study presents and discusses the mass spectrometric, infrared spectroscopic and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopic data of 2,5-dimethoxy-3,4-dimethyl-β-phenethylamine (2C-G), a new designer drug. A powder sample containing 2C-G was seized in Poland in 2011. The paper focuses on a comparison of the analytical features of 2C-G and other members of the 2C-series, in order to assess the possibility of unequivocal identification. The occurrence of intense peak at m/z = 178 and different intensities of the ions at m/z = 165 and 180 in the gas chromatography-electron impact-mass spectrometry (GC-EI/MS) spectrum of 2C-G made it possible to distinguish it from 2C-E. Differences in relative intensities of the ions at m/z = 192, 179 and 177 were observed for GC-EI/MS spectra of TFAA derivatives of 2C-G and 2C-E. An identical set of ions was recorded for these substances using the liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization/quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometry (LC-ESI/QTOFMS) method in both MS and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) mode, but the distinction was possible based on differences in the ion intensities at m/z = 193.1223 and 178.0988. The Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrum of 2C-G was significantly different from other members of the 2C-series, with a characteristic doublets at 993-1014 cm(-1) and 1099-1124 cm(-1) , and the ratio of bands at higher wavenumbers. Final elucidation of the structure of 2C-G was carried out by (1) H and (13) C NMR spectroscopy. The study indicated that the marketing of analogues of controlled substances poses a real analytical challenge for forensic laboratories, and the application of sophisticated methods is often required for unequivocal identification of a new substance. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Recently a novel class of chiral stationary phases (CSPs) based on cyclofructan (CF) has been developed. Cyclofructans are cyclic oligosaccharides that possess a crown ether core and pendent fructofuranose moieties. Herein, we evaluate the applicability of these novel CSPs for the enantiomeric separation of chiral illicit drugs and controlled substances directly without any derivatization. A set of 20 racemic compounds were used to evaluate these columns including 8 primary amines, 5 secondary amines, and 7 tertiary amines. Of the new cyclofructan-based LARIHC columns, 14 enantiomeric separations were obtained including 7 baseline and 7 partial separations. The LARIHC CF6-P column proved to be the most useful in separating illicit drugs and controlled substances accounting for 11 of the 14 optimized separations. The polar organic mode containing small amounts of methanol in acetonitrile was the most useful solvent system for the LARIHC CF6-P CSP. Furthermore, the LARIHC CF7-DMP CSP proved to be valuable for the separation of the tested chiral drugs resulting in four of the optimized enantiomeric separations, whereas the CF6-RN did not yield any optimum separations. The broad selectivity of the LARIHC CF7-DMP CSP is evident as it separated primary, secondary and tertiary amine containing chiral drugs. The compounds that were partially or un-separated using the cyclofructan based columns were screened with a Cyclobond I 2000 RSP column. This CSP provided three baseline and six partial separations. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
The list of prohibited substances and methods of doping issued by the World Anti-Doping Agency is updated and modified annually based on most recent developments and scientific data. Compounds and methods are maintained, added, or removed from the list, or they are placed in so-called monitoring programmes that have been established to obtain reliable data on the prevalence of particular substances and methods in- and/or out-of-competition. Consequently, doping control laboratories continuously update, modify and optimize existing screening and confirmation assays to ensure utmost comprehensiveness in detecting the prohibited and monitored substances as well as chemically and pharmacologically related analogs. The annual banned-substance review for human sports drug testing critically summarizes recent innovations in analytical approaches supporting the detection of established and newly outlawed substances and methods of doping. Literature from January 2007 through September 2008 as indexed in Medline and Web of Science was screened and articles on detection methods for substances and methods of doping in humans were compiled according to the 2008 Prohibited List of the World Anti-Doping Agency. Few new approaches were presented for individual doping agents and the majority of reports demonstrated new options for increasing the comprehensiveness of existing doping control assays. In addition, new techniques in separation and/or ionization of analytes complementary to commonly used procedures were described, which, so far, did not meet all requirements of sports drug testing.
 
Big sports events like the 2008 European Football Championship are a challenge for anti-doping activities, particularly when the sports event is hosted by two different countries and there are two laboratories accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency. This challenges the logistics of sample collection as well as the chemical analyses, which must be carried out timeously. The following paper discusses the handling of whereabouts information for each athlete and the therapeutic use exemption system, experiences in sample collection and transportation of blood and urine samples, and the results of the chemical analysis in two different accredited laboratories. An overview of the analytical results of blood profiling and growth hormone testing in comparison with the distribution of the normal population is also presented.
 
Changes in the endogenous profile of androgenic anabolic steroids (AAS) may be interpreted as markers of doping. The objective of this study was to evaluate the endogenous profile of AAS in male athletes of the 2009 Brazilian National Soccer Championship, in normal conditions, particularly in the light of the revision of World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) Technical Document on the Interpretation of Endogenous AAS in athletes for doping control drafted in that year, as well as comparing these results to profiles already published in the literature. The upper limit of the 95% central reference interval of the following parameters for the studied population were estimated to be significantly higher than WADA's criteria, with a confidence of 90%: DHEA (about 2.3 times higher), Adiol (1.2 times higher), Bdiol (2.7 times higher), and Adiol/E (6 times higher). These findings seem to imply that WADA's criteria proposed in 2009 for DHEA, Adiol, Bdiol, and Adiol/E may not have been applicable to the studied population. Moreover, their comparison to previously published studies pointed to the need to evaluate in detail the appropriateness of adopting these criteria as universal, since there seems to be variations among different populations of athletes.
 
Doping control laboratories are frequently confronted with new substances that may be misused by athletes. Besides new pharmaceuticals, where method development for their detection is dependent on the availability of the substance and corresponding administration studies, some professional and amateur athletes are using illicit 'black market' products, which either differ from known pharmaceuticals but cause similar effects or still are undergoing clinical trials and are therefore rarely available to doping control laboratories. In the Cologne Doping Control Laboratory, different confiscated products and legally obtained nutritional supplements were analyzed in 2009, and various findings were reported including GH-labelled injection vials without any pharmacologically active content; combinations of products indicating the attempt to mask growth hormone abuse; unpurified long-R(3) -IGF-1; nutritional supplements containing the growth hormone releasing peptide-2 (GHRP-2); and ampoules containing the selective androgen receptor modulator Andarine (S-4). This review provides an overview on the substances that were analyzed in 2009. Ingredients relevant for doping control were identified by means of liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry methods. The awareness of new products on the black market and in nutritional supplements is of utmost importance for laboratories to develop detection methods accordingly and screen for new substances as early as possible.
 
Cannabis is the most widely used illicit substance globally, with an estimated annual prevalence in 2010 of 2.6-5.0% of the adult population. Concerns have been expressed about increases in the potency of cannabis products. A high tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content can increase anxiety, depression, and psychotic symptoms, and can increase the risk of dependence and adverse effects on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems in regular users. The aim of this study was to report statistical data about the potency of cannabis products seized in the north-east of Italy, in a geographical area centred in Venice and extending for more than 10 000 km(2) with a population of more than two million, by investigating the variability observed in THC levels of about 4000 samples of cannabis products analyzed over the period 2010-2012. Overall median THC content showed an increasing trend over the study period from about 6.0% to 8.1% (6.2-8.9% for cannabis resin, 5.1-7.6% for herbal cannabis). The variation in the THC content of individual samples was very large, ranging from 0.3% to 31% for cannabis resin and from 0.1 to 19% for herbal cannabis. Median CBN:THC ratios showed a slightly decreasing trend over the study period, from 0.09 (2010) to 0.03 (2012), suggesting an increasing freshness of submitted materials. Median CBD:THC ratios also showed a decreasing trend over the study from about 0.52 (2010) to 0.18 (2012), likely due to the increase in submissions of materials from indoor and domestic cultivation with improved breeding methods. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Synthetic compounds mimicking cannabis-like effects are a recent trend. Currently, these so-called synthetic cannabinoids are the largest and fastest growing class of newly appearing designer drugs. Many national authorities are continuously adapting their regulations to keep pace with the permanently changing variety of compounds. We have analyzed eight herbal smoking blends containing synthetic cannabinoids. Altogether, nine compounds could be identified, namely AM-2201, AM-2201-pMe (MAM-2201), AM-1220, AM-1220-azepane, UR-144, XLR-11, JWH-122-pentenyl, AM-2232, and STS-135. Newly appearing compounds were isolated by column chromatography and their structures elucidated by 1D- and 2D-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experiments. In addition, the compounds were investigated by electron ionization-mass spectrometry (EI-MS) and electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS) to complete the physicochemical dataset. Based on the purified compounds a universal gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) method was developed for the identification and quantification of these compounds in commercial smoking blends. By applying this method, up to five different compounds could be found in such products showing total concentrations from 72 to 303 mg/g smoking blend while individual compounds ranged from 0.4 to 303 mg/g. (1) H NMR spectra of the chiral compounds AM-1220 and its azepane-isomer recorded in the presence of 1 equivalent of (R)-(+)-α-methoxy-α-trifluoromethylphenylacetic acid (MTPA, Mosher's acid) showed them to be racemic mixtures. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) have great therapeutic potential in various diseases including cancer cachexia, sarcopenia, and osteoporosis, and the number of drug candidates has been growing over the last decade. The SARM drug candidates S-22 and S-23 belong to one of the most advanced groups of androgen receptor modulators and are based on an arylpropionamide-derived core structure. Due to their anabolic effects, SARMs have been prohibited in elite sports and have been a subject of sports drug testing programmes since January 2008. Consequently, the structure of analytically useful urinary metabolites should be elucidated to provide targets for sensitive and retrospective analysis. In the present study, the phase-I and -II metabolism of S-22 and S-23 was simulated using hepatic human enzymes, and resulting metabolites were characterized by means of state-of-the-art mass spectrometric approaches employing high resolution/high accuracy Orbitrap mass spectrometry. Subsequently, the newly defined target compounds including the glucuronic acid conjugates of S-22 and S-23, their corresponding monohydroxylated and bishydroxylated analogs, as well as their B-ring depleted counterparts were implemented into an existing routine doping control procedure, which was examined for its specificity for the added substances. In order to obtain proof-of-concept data for authentic urine specimens, canine urine samples collected up to 72 h after oral administration of S-22 to dogs were analyzed using the established approach outlining the capability of the presented assay to detect the glucuronide of S-22 as well as the B-ring-depleted metabolite (M3) in all samples following therapeutic (31.4 µg/kg) dosing. Finally, M3 was chemically synthesized, characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and high resolution/high accuracy mass spectrometry, and chosen as primary target for future doping control analyses.
 
Approaches to detect whether an athlete has used growth hormone have been intensely investigated by sport organizations for 20 years. This effort has led to a human growth hormone (hGH) isoform ratio test in serum that has been approved by WADA and deployed at three Olympic Games, although a positive case has yet to be reported. We set out to determine whether the ratio test could be applied to urine. First we investigated various ways to extract hGH from spiked urine. We were able to recover 95% using selective centrifugal concentration. This fraction was then subjected to four different commercially available immunoprecipitation kits. The highest yield was obtained with the Invitrogen Dynabeads Protein G kit. Nevertheless it is apparent that these methods do not recover enough hGH for subsequent analysis by mass spectrometry. With further effort greater recovery of the 22 kDa isoform might be achieved, however it is very unlikely that the 20 kDa isoform could be detected. This method may be significantly improved by the application of both nanoparticle and aptamer technology.
 
Detection and quantification of drugs from various biological matrices are of immense importance in forensic toxicological analysis. Despite the various reported methods, development of a new method for the detection and quantification of drugs is still an active area of research. However, every method and biological matrix has its own limitation, which further encourage forensic toxicologists to develop new methods and to explore new matrices for the analysis of drugs. In this study, an electrospray ionization-liquid chromatograph-tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-LC-MS/MS) method is developed and validated for simultaneous identification and quantification of 24 drugs of forensic relevance in various body fluids, namely, whole blood, plasma and vitreous humour. The newly developed method has been validated for intra-day and inter-day accuracy, precision, selectivity and sensitivity. Absolute recovery shows a mean of 84.5, 86.2, and 103% in the vitreous humour, whole blood and plasma respectively, which is suitable for the screening procedure. Further, the absolute matrix effect (AME) shows a mean of 105, 96.5, and 109% in the vitreous humour, whole blood and plasma, respectively. In addition, to examine the practical utility of this method, it has been applied for screening of drugs in post-mortem samples of the vitreous humour, whole blood and plasma collected at autopsy from ten cadavers. Experimental results show that the newly developed method is well applicable for screening of analytes in all the three matrices. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Ethnicity has been found to influence urinary testosterone glucuronide to epitestosterone glucuronide (T/E) ratios among athletes. Uridine diphospho-glucuronosyltransferase 2B17 (UGT2B17) is the most active enzyme in testosterone glucuronidation. UGT2B17 polymorphism analysis is rarely performed in Japanese athletes, and the influence of testosterone administration on steroid profiles and carbon isotope ratios, according to gene polymorphisms, in Asians remains unknown. The prevalence of UGT2B17 genotypes and urinary androgenic steroid profiles, classified according to UGT2B17 genotypes, was investigated in Japanese athletes (255 male and 256 female). Testosterone enanthate (100 mg) was administered intramuscularly to Japanese female volunteers (del/del: n = 6, del/ins: n = 3, ins/ins: n = 1). The distribution rates of the UGT2B17 del/del genotype in Japanese male and female athletes were 74.5% and 60.2%, respectively. The ins/ins genotype was detected in only three male (1.2%) and seven female (2.7%) athletes. The prevalence of the UGT2B17 deletion genotype was extremely high in Japanese athletes. The T/E ratio in the del/del group was significantly lower than that in the other groups. After testosterone was administered to female volunteers, the T/E ratios for the del/del individuals failed to reach the positivity criterion of 4. By contrast, in all of the del/del subjects, the gas chromatography/combustion/isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-C-IRMS) analysis successfully fulfilled the positivity criterion. The overall result has demonstrated the limited effectiveness of population-based T/E ratios in screening tests for testosterone use. Subject-based steroid profiling with UGT2B17 genotyping will be an effective strategy for detecting testosterone misuse. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Top-cited authors
Simon D. Brandt
  • Liverpool John Moores University
Volker Auwärter
  • University Medical Center Freiburg
Pierce Kavanagh
  • Trinity College Dublin
Marilyn A Huestis
  • Huestis & Smith Toxicology, LLC
Sven Guddat
  • Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln