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Bioimpacts. 2011;1(1):53-62. doi: 10.5681/bi.2011.008. Epub 2011 Jun 9.

Simultaneous Determination of 6-Mercaptopurine and its Oxidative Metabolites in Synthetic Solutions and Human Plasma using Spectrophotometric Multivariate Calibration Methods.

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Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, 51666-16471, Iran.



6-Mercaptopurine (6MP) is an important chemotherapeutic drug in the conventional treatment of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). It is catabolized to 6-thiouric acid (6TUA) through 8-hydroxo-6-mercaptopurine (8OH6MP) or 6-thioxanthine (6TX) intermediates.


High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is usually used to determine the contents of therapeutic drugs, metabolites and other important biomedical analytes in biological samples. In the present study, the multivariate calibration methods, partial least squares (PLS-1) and principle component regression (PCR) have been developed and validated for the simultaneous determination of 6MP and its oxidative metabolites (6TUA, 8OH6MP and 6TX) without analyte separation in spiked human plasma. Mixtures of 6MP, 8-8OH6MP, 6TX and 6TUA have been resolved by PLS-1 and PCR to their UV spectra.


Recoveries (%) obtained for 6MP, 8-8OH6MP, 6TX and 6TUA were 94.5-97.5, 96.6-103.3, 95.1-96.9 and 93.4-95.8, respectively, using PLS-1 and 96.7-101.3, 96.2-98.8, 95.8-103.3 and 94.3-106.1, respectively, using PCR. The NAS (Net analyte signal) concept was used to calculate multivariate analytical figures of merit such as limit of detection (LOD), selectivity and sensitivity. The limit of detections for 6MP, 8-8OH6MP, 6TX and 6TUA were calculated to be 0.734, 0.439, 0.797 and 0.482 μmol L-1, respectively, using PLS and 0.724, 0.418, 0783 and 0.535 μmol L-1, respectively, using PCR. HPLC was also applied as a validation method for simultaneous determination of these thiopurines in the synthetic solutions and human plasma.


Combination of spectroscopic techniques and chemometric methods (PLS and PCR) has provided a simple but powerful method for simultaneous analysis of multicomponent mixtures.


6-Mercaptopurine; Multivariate; Oxidative Metabolites; Spectrophotometric

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