Determination of GnRH and its synthetic analogues' abuse in doping control: Small bioactive peptide UPLC–MS/MS method extension by addition of in vitro and in vivo metabolism data; evaluation of LH and steroid profile parameter fluctuations as suitable biomarkers

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EarlyView Article

  • Published: Sep 28, 2017
  • Author: Irina Zvereva, Grigory Dudko, Marina Dikunets
  • Journal: Drug Testing and Analysis


Gonadotropin‐releasing hormone (GnRH) and its small peptide synthetic analogues are included in Section S2 of the World Anti‐Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List as they stimulate pituitary luteinizing hormone (LH) and testicular testosterone (T) secretion. Both the following approaches can be applied for determination of abuse of these peptides: direct identification of intact compounds and their metabolites in athletes' biofluids and evaluation of LH and T concentrations as mediate markers of drug intake. To develop an effective concept for GnRH and its analogues determination in anti‐doping control, in vitro and in vivo studies were conducted. A new method was applied to the evaluation of the slow‐release profile of buserelin, goserelin, and leuprolide biodegradable microspheres after the intramuscular injection in male volunteers. Eight metabolites of 10 GnRH analogues were identified after incubation with human kidney microsomes, most of them were leuprolide degradation products. Obtained data were added into ultra‐performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC–MS/MS) method for GnRH analogues determination. The detection time windows for administered peptides and their metabolites in urine samples were evaluated with 2 sample preparation techniques: dilute‐and‐shoot and solid‐phase extraction. To support the second hypothesis, the measurement of LH and the main parameters of the steroid profile were performed in urine samples. Just 1 compound among those investigated resulted in the LH concentration dropping to non‐physiological levels. Thus, for doping‐control purposes, monitoring of hormone levels fluctuations could be applied only together with longitudinal passport steroid profile data.

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