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Anal Biochem. 1988 Jun;171(2):373-81.

Quantitation of free sphingosine in liver by high-performance liquid chromatography.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322.


Conditions were established for the extraction of free sphingosine from liver and the separation and quantitation of this and other long-chain (sphingoid) bases (e.g., sphingosine, sphinganine, phytosphingosine, and homologs) by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The long-chain bases were extracted with chloroform and methanol and then treated with base to remove interfering lipids. After preparation of the o-phthalaldehyde derivatives, the long-chain bases could be separated using C18 columns eluted isocratically with methanol:5 mM potassium phosphate, pH 7.0 (90:10). The HPLC analyses took 15 to 20 min per sample and had lower limits of detection in the picomole range. Quantitation was facilitated by using a 20-carbon long-chain base homolog as an internal standard. The utility of the method was demonstrated with rat liver, providing the first quantitation of free sphingosine in this tissue of approximately 7 nmol/g wet wt.

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