Simultaneous determination of tryptophan, kynurenine, kynurenic acid, xanthurenic acid and 5‐hydroxytryptamine in human plasma by LC‐MS/MS and its application to acute myocardial infarction monitoring

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EarlyView Article

  • Published: Dec 26, 2017
  • Author: Qing Tong, Jia Song, Guangjie Yang, Li Fan, Wei Xiong, Jianguo Fang


Reliable methods for the determination of tryptophan and its metabolites are vital to the monitoring of biochemical states during the initiation and progression of cardiovascular disease. In the present study, a single‐run liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC‐MS/MS) method was developed for the simultaneous determination of tryptophan (Trp) and its metabolites, including kynurenine (Kyn), kynurenic acid (KA), xanthurenic acid (XA) and 5‐hydroxytryptamine (5‐HT), in human plasma. The plasma samples were prepared using a protein precipitation approach, and the chromatographic separation was performed by gradient elution on a C18 column within a total analysis time of 3.5 min. The calibration ranges were 40–20,000 ng/mL for Trp, 4–2000 ng/mL for Kyn, 0.2–100 ng/mL for KA, 0.4–200 ng/mL for XA and 1–500 ng/mL for 5‐HT, and the precision and accuracy were acceptable. The evaluation of recovery and internal standard‐normalized matrix effect proved that the sample preparation approach was effective and the matrix effect could be negligible. The newly developed method was successfully applied to the analysis of plasma samples from healthy individuals and myocardial infarction patients. The findings suggested that the plasma concentrations of Trp, Kyn, 5‐HT as well as the concentration ratios of Kyn/Trp and Trp/5‐HT might serve as biomarkers for the monitoring of acute myocardial infarction.

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