Rapid Determination of Tetrodotoxin in Human Plasma by Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry
A sensitive analytical method was developed to determine tetrodotoxin(TTX) in human plasma samples using protein precipitation, followed by ultra performance liquid chromatography(UPLC) analysis coupled with tandem mass spectrometry(MS/MS) using 11-deoxytetrodotoxin(11-deoxyTTX) as an internal standard. The plasma samples were prepared using protein precipitation prior to being analyzed by UPLC-MS/MS to identify TTX over a zwitterionic-hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography column. The retention time values of TTX and 11-deoxyTTX were 4.12 and 3.67 min, respectively. TTX and 11-deoxyTTX were monitored and quantitated on the basis of their ion transitions for their respective precursor ions to their product ions(i.e., m/z 320.0→162.1 for TTX and m/z 304.0→176.0 for 11-deoxyTTX) in the multiple reaction-monitoring mode. The lower limit of quantification of this method was determined to be 0.0199 ng/mL. This method showed good linearity for plasma samples that contained TTX concentrations in the range of 0.0199—1.99 ng/mL. The specificity, precision, accuracy, matrix effect, and stability characteristics of this method were also examined. The intra-assay precision and accuracy ranged from 1.89% to 6.00% and from 92.21% to 100.00%, whereas the inter-assay precision and accuracy ranged from 0.64% to 7.75% and from 99.38% to 101.26%, respectively. This new method therefore represents a rapid, accurate, reliable, and highly sensitive method for the qualitative and quantitative analyses of a trace amount of TTX in human plasma samples.
KeywordsTetrodotoxin(TTX) 11-DeoxyTTX Ultra performance liquid chromatography(UPLC) coupled with tandem mass spectrometry(MS/MS) Plasma Protein precipitation
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