Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Anal Biochem. 1988 Oct;174(1):349-59.

Quantification of quinolinic acid in rat brain, whole blood, and plasma by gas chromatography and negative chemical ionization mass spectrometry: effects of systemic L-tryptophan administration on brain and blood quinolinic acid concentrations.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Neurophysiology, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


A gas chromatography/mass spectrometry assay is described to quantify the endogenous neurotoxin quinolinic acid (QUIN) in brain, whole blood, and plasma. High specificity and high sensitivity were obtained by using negative chemical ionization and accuracy was achieved by using [18O]QUIN as internal standard. Neutralized perchloric acid extracts were washed with chloroform, applied to Dowex 1 x 8 (formate form), and eluted with 6 M formic acid. After lyophilization, QUIN and [18O]QUIN were esterified with hexafluoroisopropanol (to mass 467 and 471, respectively) using trifluoroacetylimidazole as catalyst. The esters were extracted into heptane and injected onto a gas chromatograph, DB-5 capillary column. QUIN and [18O]QUIN were quantified by selected ion monitoring of QUIN-specific anion currents from the molecular anions (m/z 467 and 471, respectively) and a specific anion fragment (m/z 316 from QUIN and m/z 320 from [18O]QUIN). Minimum sensitivity was 3 fmol, intraassay variability was 3.2%, and interassay variability was 8.1% QUIN concentrations in frontal cortex from over 200 rats ranged from 20 to 180 fmol/mg wet wt. Two hours after systemic L-tryptophan (L-Trp; 0.370 mmol/kg) administration, QUIN increased in whole blood 134.8-fold and in plasma, 74.3-fold. In frontal cortex, increases in QUIN (22.6-fold, corrected for QUIN in blood) exceeded increases in cortical L-Trp (2.54-fold), 5-HT (1.35-fold), and 5-HIAA (1.74-fold). These studies demonstrate that QUIN is present in brain and is sensitive to the availability of systemic L-Trp.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk