Metabolism of novel opioid agonists U‐47700 and U‐49900 using human liver microsomes with confirmation in authentic urine specimens from drug users

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EarlyView Article

  • Published: Jul 26, 2017
  • Author: Alex J. Krotulski, Amanda L. A. Mohr, Donna M. Papsun, Barry K. Logan
  • Journal: Drug Testing and Analysis

Recently, the number of adverse events, including death, involving novel opioids has continued to increase, providing additional and sustained challenges for forensic and medical communities. Identification of emerging novel opioids can be challenging, compounded by detection windows and unknown metabolic profiles. In this study, human liver microsomes were used for the generation of in vitro metabolic profiles of U‐47700 and U‐49900. Generated metabolites were analyzed via a SCIEX TripleTOF® 5600+ quadrupole time‐of‐flight mass spectrometer and resulting data files were processing using MetabolitePilot™. Characterized metabolites were verified in vivo by analysis of authentic human urine specimens collected after analytically confirmed cases of overdose involving U‐47700 or U‐49900. In total, four metabolites were identified and present in urine specimens for U‐47700, and five metabolites for U‐49900. N‐Desmethyl‐U‐47700 was determined to be the primary metabolite of U‐47700. Parent U‐47700 was identified in all urine specimens. N‐Desmethyl‐U‐47700 and N,N‐didesmethyl‐U‐47700 were structurally confirmed for the first time during this study following acquisition of standard reference material. N‐Desethyl‐U‐49900 was determined to be the primary metabolite of U‐49900 following microsomal incubations, while N,N‐didesethyl‐N‐desmethyl‐U‐49900 was the most abundant in a urine specimen. Similarities in metabolic transformation were identified between U‐47700 and U‐49900, resulting in a common metabolite and isomeric species. These phenomena should be considered in cases involving U‐47700 or U‐49900. This study is the first to map the metabolic profiles of U‐47700 and U‐49900 using human liver microsomes, as well as the first to report any literature involving U‐49900 and analysis of case specimens.

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