Analytica chimica acta

Highly sensitive quantification for human plasma-targeted metabolomics using an amine derivatization reagent.

PMID 28081817


Amino acids and their related metabolites play important roles in various physiological processes and have consequently become biomarkers for diseases. However, accurate quantification methods have only been established for major compounds, such as amino acids and a limited number of target metabolites. We previously reported a highly sensitive high-throughput method for the simultaneous quantification of amines using 3-aminopyridyl-N-succinimidyl carbamate as a derivatization reagent combined with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Herein, we report the successful development of a practical and accurate LC-MS/MS method to analyze low concentrations of 40 physiological amines in 19 min. Thirty-five of these amines showed good linearity, limits of quantification, accuracy, precision, and recovery characteristics in plasma, with scheduled selected reaction monitoring acquisitions. Plasma samples from 10 healthy volunteers were evaluated using our newly developed method. The results revealed that 27 amines were detected in one of the samples, and that 24 of these compounds could be quantified. Notably, this new method successfully quantified metabolites with high accuracy across three orders of magnitude, with lowest and highest averaged concentrations of 31.7 nM (for spermine) and 18.3 μM (for α-aminobutyric acid), respectively.