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Mass Spectrom (Tokyo). 2014;3(1):A0029. doi: 10.5702/massspectrometry.A0029. Epub 2014 Aug 1.

Determination of niacin and its metabolites using supercritical fluid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry.

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Department of Biotechnology, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University.


Niacin, a water-soluble vitamin belonging to the vitamin B group, has been known to cause various problems in the human body when deficient. The vitamin is derived from the diet and afterwards, niacin and its metabolites are secreted in blood or urine. It can be analyzed using liquid chromatography (LC) coupled to mass spectrometry, but niacin and its metabolites are very polar compounds. Recently, supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) is gaining attention for polar compound analysis. To our best knowledge, the report on the analysis of endogenous-very hydrophilic metabolites in biofluids by SFC has not been found. In this study, we investigated whether the separation of hydrophilic metabolites in biofluids is achievable by SFC. In addition, we also examined the applicability of SFC coupled to MS in extrapolating unknown metabolites by means of spectra information. As a result, an analysis method to quantify the target compounds using SFC/MS/MS was constructed for niacin and its metabolites. Additional putative metabolites from niacin were also identified using the MS fragmentation spectra in plasma and urine. Consequently, the method using SFC/MS/MS allowed for the analysis of polar compounds with low log P ranging from -3.7 to 0.29. This study is the first report of the separation of niacin and its seven metabolites in human urine and these results showed that SFC-MS/MS can be an alternative technique for hydrophilic metabolite analysis.


hydrophilic compound; niacin; supercritical fluid chromatography

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