Simultaneous determination of tetrahydrocortisol, allotetrahydrocortisol and tetrahydrocortisone in human urine by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry

Yamashita, K.; Nakagawa, R.; Okuyama, M.; Honma, S.; Takahashi, M.; Numazawa, M.

Steroids 73(7): 727-737


ISSN/ISBN: 0039-128X
PMID: 18394666
DOI: 10.1016/j.steroids.2008.02.009
Accession: 033396532

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Simultaneous quantification method of three major metabolites of cortisone and cortisol, tetrahydrocortisol, allotetrahydrocortisol and tetrahydrocortisone by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS) was investigated in a positive mode using a recently developed picolinyl derivatization. Conversion of each steroid into the corresponding picolinyl derivatives (1b, 2b or 3b) was performed by mixed anhydride method using picolinic acids and 2-methyl-6-nitrobenzoic anhydride. Derivatization proceeded smoothly to afford the corresponding 3, 21-dipicolinyl derivatives. Positive ion-ESI mass spectra of the picolinyl derivatives were dominated by an appearance of [M+H](+) as base peaks in all cases. The picolinyl derivatives provided 15 to 80-fold higher ESI response in the LC-ESI-MS/MS (selected reaction monitoring: SRM) when compared to those of underivatized molecules in a positive LC-ESI mode. The use of the picolinyl ester, solid-phase extraction, and deuterium labeled internal standards enabled the concentrations of these metabolites in human urine to be determined simultaneously by LC-ESI-MS/MS (SRM) with a small sample volume of less than 1microl urine.