A method is presented for the analysis of peptides in plasma at picomole to femtomole levels. Peptides are isolated from plasma by solid-phase extraction, the peptide of interest is purified by reversed-phase high- performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and selectively digested using immobilized trypsin or chymotrypsin to yield specific di- or tripeptides. These di- and tripeptides are esterified using heptafluorobutyric anhydride, alkylated with pentafluorobenzyl bromide, then quantified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry with negative ion chemical ionization. This method has been evaluated for a model synthetic heptapeptide, using a deuterium labeled analog as an internal standard. The half-life of the heptapeptide in human plasma was found to be 2 min. Extraction efficiencies of a tritiated peptide of similar size to the heptapeptide, [3H]DSLET, from plasma using either C18 or strong cation-exchange columns were 85±3 and 70±2%, respectively. Quantitation of fragments from the heptapeptide indicated that the analysis was linear from 1-50 ng of the heptapeptide per ml of plasma. This method was subsequently employed for pharmacokinetic studies of the biologically active peptide Met-enkephalin-Arg-Gly-Leu, where linearity was obtained from 50 to 1000 ng/ml in rat plasma. This method demonstrated negligible side reaction by-products due to autolysis, and has potential for extensive use given the wide availability of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Journal of Chromatography B: Biomedical Applications|
|State||Published - Oct 24 1997|
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