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Agnesod D.,Laboratory of Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacogenetic | De Nicolo A.,Laboratory of Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacogenetic | Simiele M.,Laboratory of Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacogenetic | Mohamed Abdi A.,Laboratory of Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacogenetic | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis

The current standard-of-care therapy in HCV consists in ribavirin (RBV) plus pegylated-interferon-α 2a or 2b and, for HCV-1 infected patients, also directly acting antivirals (DAAs). Despite the increase in the number of patients who reach sustained virological response (SVR) for HCV-1, a great inter-individual variability in the response to therapy remains. Whether new drugs are available in combination with RBV and Peg-IFN for HCV-1, the treatment of the other viral genotypes remains the same: this issue highlights the lasting importance of RBV and Peg-IFN in anti-HCV treatment. Moreover, a strong limiting factor to the usefulness of anti-HCV treatment remains the occurrence of adverse events, first of all hemolytic anemia, which have increased with the addition of DAAs, but is mainly an RBV-dependent effect. For these reasons, the monitoring of RBV exposure in the various compartments should be important. Since the routinely determination of RBV in the target cells as the hepatocytes is impracticable for of its invasiveness, the quantification in easier to obtain cells could be a good choice. In this work, we developed and validated an ultra performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) assay method to quantify RBV concentrations in peripheral blood mononucleated cells (PBMCs). QCs were prepared with RBV and RBV-monophosphate (RMP). Each sample was divided into two aliquots, which undergone the same extraction procedure: one was treated with acid phosphatase to convert RBV phosphorylated metabolites into free RBV, the other one was not-treated. The extracts were analyzed with reverse-phase column with UPLC-MS/MS.Calibration curves fitted a least squares model (weighed 1/X) for ribavirin levels in a range from 0.1ng to 200ng (mean r2=0.9993). Accuracy, intra-day and inter-day precision of the methods were in accordance with FDA guidelines. Moreover, phosphorylated QCs were used to assess the correct determination of total RBV concentration. We tested this method by monitoring RBV concentrations in PBMCs from 20 HCV+ patients, receiving alpha interferon-plus RBV combination therapy. This method showed to be reliable, precise, accurate and suitable for evaluation of intracellular RBV concentrations. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source

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