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J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2012 Aug 15;903:118-25. doi: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2012.07.004. Epub 2012 Jul 20.

Determination of phenylbutyric acid and its metabolite phenylacetic acid in different tissues of mouse by liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry and its application in drug tissue distribution.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 560-182, South Korea.


Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is associated with various human diseases. Phenylbutyric acid (PBA) is a well-known chemical chaperone that regulates ER stress. The main objective of this study was to develop a simple, rapid, and sensitive method for the simultaneous determination of phenylbutyric acid and its metabolite, phenylacetic acid (PAA). A LC-MS/MS analysis using negative electrospray ionization was used. Samples were analyzed by multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) in 15 min of total run time, using d11-PBA and d7-PAA as internal standards. The limit of quantification was 1 μg/g for tissue and 0.8 μg/mL for plasma. Recoveries for plasma and tissues were higher than 81% for both PBA and PAA. The inter-day and intra-day accuracy and precision were within ±15%. We then further successfully validated this method by applying it to determine the tissue distribution of PBA and its metabolite PAA after i.p. injection of PBA at a dose of 500 mg/kg in mice. The maximum concentrations of PBA and PAA in plasma and tissues were seen at 15 min and 45 min, respectively. The PBA plasma concentration was 15-fold higher than the concentration in the kidney, whereas the PAA plasma concentration was 6-fold higher than the concentration in the liver. The area under the curve decreased in the order of plasma > kidney > liver > heart > muscle > lung for PBA and plasma > liver > kidney > heart > muscle > lung for PAA. The tissue to plasma ratio ranged from 0.007 to 0.063 for PBA and 0.016 to 0.109 for PAA. In summary, the LC-ESI-MS method developed in this study is simple, sensitive and reliable.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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