Simultaneous Determination of Dihydrotestosterone and its Metabolites in Mouse Sera by LC-MS/MS with Chemical Derivatization

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Journal of Chromatography B - Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences


Androgens play a vital role in prostate cancer development, and their elimination and blockade are essential in the disease management. DHT is the key ligand for androgen receptor (AR) in the prostate. It is locally synthesized from testosterone. In the prostate, DHT is predominantly metabolized to alpha-diol and beta-diol. Recent studies indicate that impaired DHT catabolism is associated with prostate cancer, signifying the necessity of a sensitive quantitative method for the determination of DHT and its metabolites. In this work, an LC-MS/MS method for the simultaneous quantification of DHT and its metabolites was developed and validated. Steroid-free sera were prepared and used for the preparation of sera calibrators and quality controls (QCs). DHT and its metabolites along with their respective stable heavy isotope labeled analytes representing internal standards were first extracted with methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) and derivatized with picolinic acid (PA). The derivatized analytes were then extracted again with MTBE, dried under nitrogen and reconstituted in the mobile phase (80% methanol and 0.2% formic acid in water). Baseline chromatographic separation of the derivatized analytes was achieved isocratically on XTerra C18 column (2.1 x 100 mm) using the mobile phase at a flow rate of 0.25 mL/min. Quantitation was performed using multiple-reaction-monitoring mode with positive electrospray ionization. The method has calibration ranges from 0.0500 ng/mL to 50.0 ng/mL for DHT and its two metabolites with acceptable assay precision, accuracy, recovery, and matrix factor. It was applied to the determination of DHT and its metabolites in an animal study.


This research was supported by Translational Research and Pharmacology Core Facility of Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Case Western Reserve University (NIH P30 CA43703).