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Moller I.,German Sport University Cologne | Thomas A.,German Sport University Cologne | Delahaut P.,CER Groupe Departement Sante | Geyer H.,German Sport University Cologne | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis

Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) have frequently been confessed to be illicitly used in elite sports due to their endurance enhancing effects. Recently, peginesatide, the first representative of a new generation of ESAs, referred to as Erythropoietin (EPO)-mimetic peptides, obtained approval in the USA under the trade name Omontys® for the treatment of anaemic patients. Lacking sequence homology with EPO, it consists of a pegylated homodimeric peptide of approximately 45kDa, and thus, specific approaches for the determination of peginesatide in blood were developed as conventional detection assays for EPO do not allow for the analysis of the EPO-mimetic peptides. However, as urine specimens are the most frequently provided doping control samples and pharmacokinetic studies conducted in rats and monkeys revealed the excretion of the pegylated peptide into urine, a detection method for peginesatide in urine would be desirable. A mass spectrometric assay in human urine was developed consisting of protein precipitation with acetonitrile followed by proteolytic digestion after the removal of the acetonitrile fraction under reduced pressure. Purification and concentration of the resulting proteotypic target peptide was accomplished by means of solid-phase extraction on strong cation-exchange resin prior to liquid chromatographic-tandem mass spectrometric analysis. Method validation was performed for qualitative purposes and demonstrated specificity, precision, linearity as well as sufficient sensitivity (limit of detection: 0.5ng/ml) while proof-of-concept for the applicability of the assay for the determination of peginesatide in authentic urine samples was obtained by analyzing animal in vivo specimens collected after a single i.v. administration of peginesatide over a period of 4 days. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

Thomas A.,German Sport University Cologne | Schanzer W.,German Sport University Cologne | Delahaut P.,CER Groupe Departement Sante | Thevis M.,German Sport University Cologne

For most peptide hormones prohibited in elite sports the concentrations in plasma or urine are very low (pg/mL). Accordingly, hyphenated purification and enrichment steps prior to mass spectrometric detection are required to obtain sufficient doping control assays. Immunoaffinity purification in combination with nano-scale liquid chromatography coupled to high resolution/high accuracy mass spectrometry was found to have the potential of providing the necessary sensitivity and unambiguous specificity to produce reliable results. With the presented methodology 12 prohibited peptides (porcine insulin, Novolog, Apidra, Lantus DesB30-32 metabolite, Humalog and human insulin, Synacthen (synthetic ACTH analogue), luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH), growth hormone releasing hormone (GH-RH(1-29)) and CJC-1295 (GH-RH analogue), LongR 3-IGF-1 and IFG-1) were simultaneously purified from plasma/serum or urine. With limits of detection for each target compound ranging in the low pg/mL level (urine), the method enables the determination of urinary peptides at physiologically relevant concentrations. For each class of peptides an appropriate antibody and a respective internal standard was implemented ensuring robust analysis conditions. Due to the fast and simple sample preparation procedure (∼25 samples per day) and the fact that all materials are commercial available, the implementation of the methodology to laboratories from other analytical fields (forensics, pharmacokinetic sciences, etc.) is enabled. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. Source

Thomas A.,German Sport University Cologne | Walpurgis K.,German Sport University Cologne | Delahaut P.,CER Groupe Departement Sante | Kohler M.,University of Cologne | And 2 more authors.
Drug Testing and Analysis

Uncovering manipulation of athletic performance via small interfering (si)RNA is an emerging field in sports drug testing. Due to the potential to principally knock down every target gene in the organism by means of the RNA interference pathway, this facet of gene doping has become a realistic scenario. In the present study, two distinct model siRNAs comprising 21 nucleotides were designed as double strands which were perfect counterparts to a sequence of the respective messenger RNA coding the muscle regulator myostatin of Rattus norvegicus. Several modified nucleotides were introduced in both the sense and the antisense strand comprising phosphothioates, 2'-O-methylation, 2'-fluoro-nucleotides, locked nucleic acids and a cholesterol tag at the 3'-end. The model siRNAs were applied to rats at 1 mg/kg (i.v.) and blood as well as urine samples were collected. After isolation of the RNA by means of a RNA purification kit, the target analytes were detected by liquid chromatography - high resolution/high accuracy mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS). Analytes were detected as modified nucleotides after alkaline hydrolysis, as intact oligonucleotide strands (top-down) and by means of denaturing SDS-PAGE analysis. The gel-separated siRNA was further subjected to in-gel hydrolysis with different RNases and subsequent identification of the fragments by untargeted LC-HRMS analysis (bottom-up, 'experimental RNomics'). Combining the results of all approaches, the identification of several 3'-truncated urinary metabolites was accomplished and target analytes were detected up to 24 h after a single administration. Simultaneously collected blood samples yielded no promising results. The methods were validated and found fit-for-purpose for doping controls. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. The potential misuse of siRNA for performance enhancement has become a realistic scenario in doping controls. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source

Thomas A.,German Sport University Cologne | Walpurgis K.,German Sport University Cologne | Tretzel L.,German Sport University Cologne | Brinkkotter P.,University of Cologne | And 4 more authors.
Drug Testing and Analysis

Bioactive peptides with an approximate molecular mass of 2-12 kDa are of considerable relevance in sports drug testing. Such peptides have been used to manipulate several potential performance-enhancing processes in the athlete's body and include for example growth hormone releasing hormones (sermorelin, CJC-1293, CJC-1295, tesamorelin), synthetic/animal insulins (lispro, aspart, glulisine, glargine, detemir, degludec, bovine and porcine insulin), synthetic ACTH (synacthen), synthetic IGF-I (longR3-IGF-I) and mechano growth factors (human MGF, modified human MGF, 'full-length' MGF). A combined initial test method using one analytical procedure is a desirable tool in doping controls and related disciplines as requests for higher sample throughput with utmost comprehensiveness preferably at reduced costs are constantly issued. An approach modified from an earlier assay proved fit-for-purpose employing pre-concentration of all target analytes by means of ultrafiltration, immunoaffinity purification with coated paramagnetic beads, nano-ultra high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) separation, and subsequent detection by means of high resolution tandem mass spectrometry. The method was shown to be applicable to blood and urine samples, which represent the most common doping control specimens. The method was validated considering the parameters specificity, recovery (11-69%), linearity, imprecision (<25%), limit of detection (5-100 pg in urine, 0.1-2 ng in plasma), and ion suppression. The analysis of administration study samples for insulin degludec, detemir, aspart, and synacthen provided the essential data for the proof-of-principle of the method. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source

Knoop A.,German Sport University Cologne | Thomas A.,German Sport University Cologne | Fichant E.,CER Groupe Departement Sante | Delahaut P.,CER Groupe Departement Sante | And 3 more authors.
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

The use of growth hormone-releasing hormones (GHRHs) is prohibited in sports according to the regulations of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The aim of the present study was to develop a method for the simultaneous detection of four different GHRHs and respective metabolites from human plasma by means of immunoaffinity purification and subsequent nano-ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography-high resolution/high accuracy (tandem) mass spectrometry. The target analytes included Geref (Sermorelin), CJC-1293, CJC-1295, and Egrifta (Tesamorelin) as well as two metabolites of Geref and CJC-1293, which were captured from plasma samples using a polyclonal GHRH antibody in concert with protein A/G monolithic MSIA™ D.A.R.T.’S® (Disposable Automation Research Tips) prior to separation and detection. The method was fully validated and found to be fit for purpose considering the parameters specificity, linearity, recovery (19–37 %), lower limit of detection (<50 pg/mL), imprecision (<20 %), and ion suppression/enhancement effects. The analytes’ stability and metabolism were elucidated using in vitro and in vivo approaches. EDTA blood samples were collected from rats 2, 4, and 8 h after intravenous administration of GHRH (one compound per test animal). All intact substances were detected for at least 4 h but no anticipated metabolite was confirmed in laboratory rodents’ samples; conversely, a Geref metabolite (GHRH3-29) was found in a human plasma sample collected after subcutaneous injection of the drug to a healthy male volunteer. The obtained results demonstrate that GHRHs are successfully detected in plasma using an immunoaffinity-mass spectrometry-based method, which can be applied to sports drug testing samples. Further studies are however required and warranted to account for potential species-related differences in metabolism and elimination of the target analytes [Figure not available: see fulltext.] © 2016 The Author(s) Source

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