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J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2009 Sep 1;877(25):2615-23. doi: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2008.10.051. Epub 2008 Nov 5.

Simultaneous determination of salivary testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone using LC-MS/MS: Method development and evaluation of applicability for diagnosis and medication for late-onset hypogonadism.

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Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Kanazawa University, Kakuma-machi, Kanazawa 920-1192, Japan.


Late-onset hypogonadism (LOH) is a male-specific disorder caused by the age-related decline in androgens, such as testosterone (T). A sensitive liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometric (LC-ESI-MS/MS) method for the simultaneous quantification of T and its precursor, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), in human saliva has been developed and validated. The saliva was deprotenized with acetonitrile, purified using a Strata-X cartridge, derivatized with 2-hydrazino-1-methylpyridine, and subjected to LC-MS/MS. The recovery rates of the steroids during the pretreatment were about 90%. Quantification was based on selected reaction monitoring using characteristic transitions, and deuterated T and DHEA were used as internal standards. This method allowed the reproducible (inter- and intra-assay precisions, <2.9%) and accurate (accuracy, 98.5-101.8%) quantification of the salivary androgens using a 500-microl sample and the limits of quantification for both androgens were 10 pg/ml. As preliminary steps in the practical application of the developed method in diagnosis and medication for LOH, the diurnal rhythms, inter-day alternations and age differences in the salivary T and DHEA were examined; the method found that the salivary T and DHEA show specific diurnal rhythms, significant alternations in early morning and pronouncedly decline with age. The method also enabled the determination of the changes in the individual T and DHEA levels after the DHEA supplementation, which is expected to be a new and easy medication for LOH. Thus, the developed method has satisfactory applicability in the diagnosis and medication for LOH.

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