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Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2006;20(2):185-92.

Profiling of ecdysteroids in complex biological samples using liquid chromatography/ion trap mass spectrometry.

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Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, School of Public Health, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


A sensitive method using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to a mass spectrometer with electrospray ionization source (HPLC/ESI-MS) was developed for detection of ecdysteroids in biological samples. We report here for the first time that ecdysteroids can be classified into three groups based on ESI full-scan mass spectra: group 1 (ecdysone (E), 2-deoxyecdysone (2dE), 2,22-dideoxyecdysone (3beta5beta-KT), and 3alpha5alpha[H]-dihydroxycholest-7-en-6-one (3alpha5alpha-KD)), in which loss of one molecule of water from the protonated molecular ion ([M+H](+)) represents the dominant ion; group 2 (20-hydroxyecdysone (20E), makisterone A (MakA), 3beta5beta-KD, and 3beta5alpha-KD), in which [M+H](+) is a major ion but some water loss is observed; and group 3 (muristerone A (MurA) and ponasterone A (PonA)), in which [M+H](+) is the dominant ion with no water loss observed. Based on the analytical procedure in combination with structural information from the group classification and with the application of source-induced dissociation, we identified free ecdysteroids in biological samples: 20,26-dihydroxyecdysone and ecdysonic acid in the larval hemolymph, and the progressive metabolism of 26-hydroxyecdysone (26E) to 3alpha-26E from day-1 to day-3 embryos of the tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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