Drug testing and analysis

Screening and confirmation of myo-inositol trispyrophosphate (ITPP) in human urine by hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography high resolution / high accuracy mass spectrometry for doping control purposes.

PMID 25070041


Myo-inositol trispyrophosphate (ITPP) is a novel allosteric effector of haemoglobin with high permeation selectivity across the red blood cell plasma membrane. Due to its potential to reduce the oxygen affinity of haemoglobin, ITPP application results in an enhanced oxygen release in hypoxic tissues. Therefore, ITPP is being examined for the treatment of numerous illnesses that involve hypoxia, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer or Alzheimer's disease. Similar to the prohibited substance Efaproxiral®, ITPP increases maximal exercise capacity in mice, providing high potential to be misused in sports. To keep up with cheating athletes, a fast and reliable liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method for screening and confirmation of ITPP in human urine for doping control purposes was developed. According to the molecule's distinct hydrophilic properties, extraction from complex biological matrices is challenging and conventional reversed phase liquid chromatography (RPLC) separations are not suitable for its detection. Therefore an approach based on hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC) Orbitrap mass spectrometry was established. The methodology was fully validated for qualitative purposes. Screening and confirmation assay are characterized by satisfactory specificity and robustness, adequate intra-day (screening: 4.9-8.1%; confirmation: 2.0-6.7%) and inter-day precision (screening: 4.6-9.1%; confirmation: 1.8-6.6%), excellent linear correlations (>0.99) with sufficient LLOD in the sub ng/mL range (screening: 15 ng/mL; confirmation: 1 ng/mL). In addition it could be shown that ITPP is stable in human urine under the mandatory storage period and conditions for doping control laboratories. To our knowledge, this is the first validated 'dilute-and-inject' LC-MS/MS method for the reliable detection of ITPP in human urine.