Determination of trimethylamine, trimethylamine N-oxide, and taurine in human plasma and urine by UHPLC-MS/MS technique

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  • Hussain Mohamad Awwad, Saarland University Hospital, Germany
  • Juergen Geisel, Saarland University Hospital, Germany
  • Rima Obeid, Saarland University Hospital

BACKGROUND: Trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) is produced in the liver from trimethylamine (TMA) and is an important cellular osmolyte and potential atherogenic factor. Taurine is involved in cholesterol metabolism and also serves as a cellular osmolyte. Given their significant biological functions, the development of reliable measurement techniques is crucial to further study their role in health and disease METHODS: A new ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method was developed and validated for the simultaneous determination of TMA, TMAO, and taurine in plasma and urine. The method consisted of a deproteinization step using methanol/acetonitrile (15:85) that contained 0.2% formic acid and isotope-labeled internal standards. Samples were separated by centrifugation and injected into the UHPLC system. Quantification was conducted using a triple-quadrupole mass spectrometer detector with electrospray ionization interface in positive mode.

RESULTS: The limits of detection ranged from 0.08 to 0.12μmol/L. The calibration curves were linear (r≥0.999) over the range examined (0.15-400μmol/L) for all compounds. The inter- and intra-day coefficients of variations were≤14.5% for TMA and ≤8% for TMAO and taurine. TMAO and taurine were found to be stable in EDTA plasma for at least 14 months at -70°C. Mean recoveries ranged from 95% to 109% and the relative matrix effects were≤4.0%. The method was applied to study physiological and pre-analytical factors in plasma and urine samples.

CONCLUSIONS: The new UHPLC-MS/MS method has good accuracy, precision, and recovery. The assay combines simple sample processing with a short run time, making it well suited for high-throughput routine clinical or research purposes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Chromatography B: Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences
Pages (from-to)12-18
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

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