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Simple and rapid determination of serotonin and catecholamines in biological tissue using high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection.

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Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London, Prince Consort Road, London, UK.


Using the CNS of Lymnaea stagnalis a method is described for the rapid analysis of neurotransmitters and their metabolites using high performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrochemical detection. Tissue samples were homogenised in ice-cold 0.1 M perchloric acid and centrifuged. Using a C(18) microbore column the mobile phase was maintained at a flow rate of 100 microl/min and consisted of sodium citrate buffer (pH 3.2)-acetonitrile (82.5:17.5, v/v) with 2 mM decane-sulfonic acid sodium salt. The potential was set at +750 mV versus Ag|AgCl reference electrode at a sensitivity of 50 nA full scale deflection. The detection limit for serotonin was 11.86 ng ml(-1) for a 5 microl injection. Preparation of tissue samples in mobile phase reduced the response to dopamine and serotonin compared with perchloric acid. In addition it was found that the storage of tissue samples at -20 degrees C caused losses of dopamine and serotonin. As a result of optimising the sample preparation and mobile phase the total time of analysis was substantially reduced resulting in a sample preparation and assay time of 15-20 min.

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