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Bioanalysis. 2014 Jan;6(2):151-64. doi: 10.4155/bio.13.289.

Simultaneous LC-MS/MS quantification of P-glycoprotein and cytochrome P450 probe substrates and their metabolites in DBS and plasma.

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Division of Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, Geneva University Hospitals, Rue Gabrielle Perret-Gentil 4, 1211, Geneva, Switzerland.



An LC-MS/MS method has been developed for the simultaneous quantification of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and cytochrome P450 (CYP) probe substrates and their Phase I metabolites in DBS and plasma. P-gp (fexofenadine) and CYP-specific substrates (caffeine for CYP1A2, bupropion for CYP2B6, flurbiprofen for CYP2C9, omeprazole for CYP2C19, dextromethorphan for CYP2D6 and midazolam for CYP3A4) and their metabolites were extracted from DBS (10 µl) using methanol. Analytes were separated on a reversed-phase LC column followed by SRM detection within a 6 min run time.


The method was fully validated over the expected clinical concentration range for all substances tested, in both DBS and plasma. The method has been successfully applied to a PK study where healthy male volunteers received a low dose cocktail of the here described P-gp and CYP probes. Good correlation was observed between capillary DBS and venous plasma drug concentrations.


Due to its low-invasiveness, simple sample collection and minimal sample preparation, DBS represents a suitable method to simultaneously monitor in vivo activities of P-gp and CYP.

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