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J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2009 Jul 15;877(22):2052-60. doi: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2009.05.043. Epub 2009 May 28.

Endogenous ethanolamide analysis in human plasma using HPLC tandem MS with electrospray ionization.

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  • 1Pfizer Global Research and Development, Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics & Metabolism, 700 Chesterfield Parkway, St. Louis, MO 63017, USA. joe.palandra@pfizer.com


A sensitive and selective liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC\MS\MS) method has been developed for the simultaneous quantification in human plasma of the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) and three other related ethanolamides, linoleoyl ethanolamide (LEA), oleoyl ethanolamide (OEA), and palmitoyl ethanolamide (PEA). The analytical methodology requires 50 microL of human plasma which is processed via protein precipitation using a 96-well protein precipitation plate. Chromatographic separation of plasma extract was achieved with a Phenomenex Gemini C6-Phenyl HPLC column (2.1 mm x 50 mm, 5 microm) at a flow rate of 0.30 mL/min using gradient elution and a mobile phase consisting of acetonitrile and 5 mM ammonium formate. All four fatty acid ethanolamides were quantified by positive ion electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry, with the detection of ion current signal generated from the selected reaction monitoring (SRM) transition of [M+H](+)-->m/z 62. Deuterated anandamide (AEA-d8) was used as an internal standard for all four ethanolamides. The lower limit of quantitation was 0.05 ng/mL for AEA and LEA, 0.5 ng/mL for OEA and 1.0 ng/mL for PEA. Inter-assay precision and accuracy were typically within 12% for the four endogenous analytes and overall extraction recoveries ranged between 40% and 100%.

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