Racing Laboratory

Changsha, China

Racing Laboratory

Changsha, China
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Kwok W.H.,Racing Laboratory | Choi T.L.S.,Racing Laboratory | Tsoi Y.Y.K.,Racing Laboratory | Leung G.N.W.,Racing Laboratory | Wan T.S.M.,Racing Laboratory
Journal of Chromatography A | Year: 2017

A fast method for the direct analysis of enzyme-hydrolysed horse urine using an automated on-line solid-phase extraction (SPE) coupled to a liquid-chromatography/high resolution mass spectrometer was developed. Over 100 drugs of diverse drug classes could be simultaneously detected in horse urine at sub to low parts per billion levels. Urine sample was first hydrolysed by β-glucuronidase to release conjugated drugs, followed by centrifugal filtration. The filtrate (1 mL) was directly injected into an on-line SPE system consisting of a pre-column filter and a SPE cartridge column for the separation of analytes from matrix components. Through valves-switching, the interfering matrix components were flushed to waste, and the analytes were eluted to a C18 analytical column for refocusing and chromatographic separation. Detections were achieved by full-scan HRMS in alternating positive and negative electrospray ionisation modes within a turn-around time of 16 min, inclusive of on-line sample clean-up and post-run mobile phase equilibration. No significant matrix interference was observed at the expected retention times of the targeted masses. Over 90% of the drugs studied gave estimated limits of detection (LoDs) at or below 5 ng/mL, with some LoDs reaching down to 0.05 ng/mL. Data-dependent acquisition (DDA) was included to provide additional product-ion scan data to substantiate the presence of detected analytes. The resulting product-ion spectra can be searched against an in-house MS/MS library for identity verification. The applicability of the method has been demonstrated by the detection of drugs in doping control samples. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


Ho E.N.M.,Racing Laboratory | Wan T.S.M.,Racing Laboratory | Wong A.S.Y.,Racing Laboratory | Lam K.K.H.,Veterinary Regulation and International Liaison | Stewart B.D.,Veterinary Regulation and International Liaison
Journal of Chromatography A | Year: 2011

Insulin and its analogues have been banned in both human and equine sports owing to their potential for misuse. Insulin administration can increase muscle glycogen by utilising hyperinsulinaemic clamps prior to sports events or during the recovery phases, and increase muscle size by its chalonic action to inhibit protein breakdown. In order to control insulin abuse in equine sports, a method to effectively detect the use of insulins in horses is required. Besides the readily available human insulin and its synthetic analogues, structurally similar insulins from other species can also be used as doping agents. The author's laboratory has previously reported a method for the detection of bovine, porcine and human insulins, as well as the synthetic analogues Humalog (Lispro) and Novolog (Aspart) in equine plasma. This study describes a complementary method for the simultaneous detection of five exogenous insulins and their possible metabolites in equine urine. Insulins and their possible metabolites were isolated from equine urine by immunoaffinity purification, and analysed by nano liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). Insulin and its analogues were detected and confirmed by comparing their retention times and major product ions. All five insulins (human insulin, Humalog, Novolog, bovine insulin and porcine insulin), which are exogenous in horse, could be detected and confirmed at 0.05. ng/mL. This method was successfully applied to confirm the presence of human insulin in urine collected from horses up to 4. h after having been administered a single low dose of recombinant human insulin (Humulin R, Eli Lilly). To our knowledge, this is the first identification of exogenous insulin in post-administration horse urine samples. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Ho E.N.M.,Racing Laboratory | Kwok W.H.,Racing Laboratory | Wong A.S.Y.,Racing Laboratory | Wan T.S.M.,Racing Laboratory
Drug Testing and Analysis | Year: 2013

A recent trend in the use of high resolution accurate mass screening (HRAMS) for doping control testing in both human and animal sports has emerged due to significant improvement in high resolution mass spectrometry in terms of sensitivity, mass accuracy, mass resolution, and mass stability. A number of HRAMS methods have been reported for the detection of multi-drug residues in human or equine urine. As blood has become a common matrix for doping control analysis, especially in equine sports, a sensitive, fast and wide coverage screening method for detecting a large number of drugs in equine blood samples would be desirable. This paper presents the development of a liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) screening method for equine plasma samples to cover over 320 prohibited substances in a single analytical run. Plasma samples were diluted and processed by solid-phase extraction. The extracts were then analyzed with LC-HRMS in full-scan positive electrospray ionization mode. A mass resolution of 60 000 was employed. Benzyldimethylphenylammonium was used as an internal lock mass. Drug targets were identified by retention time and accurate mass, with a mass tolerance window of ±3 ppm. Over 320 drug targets could be detected in a 13-min run. Validation data including sensitivity, specificity, extraction recovery and precision are presented. As the method employs full-scan mass spectrometry, an unlimited number of drug targets can theoretically be incorporated. Moreover, the HRAMS data acquired can be re-processed retrospectively to search for drugs which have not been targeted at the time of analysis. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Wong J.K.Y.,Racing Laboratory | Wan T.S.M.,Racing Laboratory
Veterinary Journal | Year: 2014

Doping. Doping can be either intentional or unintentional, which will be the meaning adopted in this review. This is in line with the World Anti-Doping Agency's definition of doping, namely, a violation of the rule(s) controlling the use of prohibited substances or practices.1 in sports is highly detrimental, not only to the athletes involved but to the sport itself as well as to the confidence of the spectators and other participants. To protect the integrity of any sport, there must be in place an effective doping control program. In human sports, a 'top-down' and generally unified approach is taken where the rules and regulations against doping for the majority of elite sport events held in any country are governed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). However, in horseracing, there is no single organisation regulating this form of equestrian sport; instead, the rules and regulations are provided by individual racing authorities and so huge variations exist in the doping control programs currently in force around the world.This review summarises the current status of doping control analyses in horseracing, from sample collection, to the analyses of the samples, and to the need for harmonisation as well as exploring some of the difficulties currently faced by racing authorities, racing chemists and regulatory veterinarians worldwide. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Wong C.H.F.,Racing Laboratory | Leung D.K.K.,Racing Laboratory | Tang F.P.W.,Racing Laboratory | Wong J.K.Y.,Racing Laboratory | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Chromatography A | Year: 2012

Liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) has been successfully applied to the detection of anabolic steroids in biological samples. However, the sensitive detection of saturated hydroxysteroids, such as androstanediols, by electrospray ionisation (ESI) is difficult because of their poor ability to ionise. In view of this, chemical derivatisation has been used to enhance the detection sensitivity of hydroxysteroids by LC/MS. This paper describes the development of a sensitive ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC/MS/MS) method for the screening of anabolic steroids in horse urine by incorporating a chemical derivatisation step, using picolinic acid as the derivatisation reagent. The method involved solid-phase extraction (SPE) of both free and conjugated anabolic steroids in horse urine using a polymer-based SPE cartridge (Abs Elut Nexus). The conjugated steroids in the eluate were hydrolysed by methanolysis and the resulting extract was further cleaned up by liquid-liquid extraction. The resulting free steroids in the extract were derivatised with picolinic acid to form the corresponding picolinoyl esters and analysed by UHPLC/MS/MS in the positive ESI mode with selected-reaction-monitoring. Separation of the targeted steroids was performed on a C18 UHPLC column. The instrument turnaround time was 10.5. min inclusive of post-run equilibration. A total of thirty-three anabolic steroids (including 17β-estradiol, 5(10)-estrene-3β,17α-diol, 5α-estrane-3β,17α-diol, 17α-ethyl-5α-estran-3α,17β-diol, 17α-methyl-5α-androstan-3,17β-diols, androstanediols, nandrolone and testosterone) spiked in negative horse urine at the QC levels (ranging from 0.75 to 30. ng/mL) could be consistently detected. The intra-day and inter-day precisions (% RSD) for the peak area ratios were around 7-51% and around 1-72%, respectively. The intra-day and inter-day precisions (% RSD) for the relative retention times were both less than 1% for all analytes, except the inter-day precision for boldione at 1.2%. The extraction recoveries for all targets were not less than 48%. With exceptional separation achieved by the UHPLC system, matrix interferences were minimal at the expected retention times of the selected transitions. As detection was performed with an UHPLC system coupled to a fast-scanning triple quadrupole mass spectrometer, the method could easily be expanded to accommodate additional steroid targets. This method has been validated for recovery and precision, and could be used regularly for doping control testing of anabolic steroids in horse urine samples. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Ho E.N.M.,Racing Laboratory | Kwok W.H.,Racing Laboratory | Wong A.S.Y.,Racing Laboratory | Wan T.S.M.,Racing Laboratory
Analytica Chimica Acta | Year: 2012

Quaternary ammonium drugs (QADs) are anticholinergic agents some of which are known to have been abused or misused in equine sports. A recent review of literature shows that the screening methods reported thus far for QADs mainly cover singly-charged QADs. Doubly-charged QADs are extremely polar substances which are difficult to be extracted and poorly retained on reversed-phase columns. It would be ideal if a comprehensive method can be developed which can detect both singly- and doubly-charged QADs. This paper describes an efficient liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) method for the simultaneous detection and confirmation of 38 singly- and doubly-charged QADs at sub-parts-per-billion (ppb) to low-ppb levels in equine urine after solid-phase extraction.Quaternary ammonium drugs were extracted from equine urine by solid-phase extraction (SPE) using an ISOLUTE ® CBA SPE column and analysed by LC/MS/MS in the positive electrospray ionisation mode. Separation of the 38 QADs was achieved on a polar group embedded C18 LC column with a mixture of aqueous ammonium formate (pH 3.0, 10mM) and acetonitrile as the mobile phase. Detection and confirmation of the 38 QADs at sub-ppb to low-ppb levels in equine urine could be achieved within 16min using selected reaction monitoring (SRM). Matrix interference of the target transitions at the expected retention times was not observed. Other method validation data, including precision and recovery, were acceptable. The method was successfully applied to the analyses of drug-administration samples. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Wong A.S.Y.,Racing Laboratory | Ho E.N.M.,Racing Laboratory | Wan T.S.M.,Racing Laboratory
Drug Testing and Analysis | Year: 2012

Myo-inositol trispyrophosphate (ITPP) is a new drug capable of increasing the amount of oxygen in hypoxic tissues. Studies have shown that administration of ITPP increases the maximal exercise capacity in normal mice as well as mice with severe heart failure. The properties of ITPP make it an ideal candidate as a doping agent to enhance performance in racehorses. While there have been speculations in the horseracing industry that the covert use of ITPP is already widespread, no reported method exists for the detection of ITPP in equine biological samples. ITPP is a difficult-to-detect drug due to its hydrophilic nature; the complexity of equine biological matrices also adds to the problem. This paper describes for the first time a method for the detection and confirmation of ITPP in equine urine and plasma. ITPP was isolated from the sample matrices by solid-phase extraction and the extract was analyzed by hydrophilic interaction chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. ITPP could be detected at low ppb levels in both fortified equine plasma and urine with good precision, fast instrumental turnaround time, and negligible matrix interferences. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a validated method for the detection and unequivocal confirmation of low levels of ITPP in any biological fluid. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Wong J.K.Y.,Racing Laboratory | Tang F.P.W.,Racing Laboratory | Wan T.S.M.,Racing Laboratory
Drug Testing and Analysis | Year: 2011

The study of the metabolism of drugs, in particular steroids, by both in vitro and in vivo methods has been carried out in the authors' laboratory for many years. For in vitro metabolic studies, the microsomal fraction isolated from horse liver is often used. However, the process of isolating liver microsomes is cumbersome and tedious. In addition, centrifugation at high speeds (over 100 000 g) may lead to loss of enzymes involved in phase I metabolism, which may account for the difference often observed between in vivo and in vitro results. We have therefore investigated the feasibility of using homogenized horse liver instead of liver microsomes with the aim of saving preparation time and improving the correlation between in vitro and in vivo results. Indeed, the preparation of the homogenized horse liver was very simple, needing only to homogenize the required amount of liver. Even though no further purification steps were performed before the homogenized liver was used, the cleanliness of the extracts obtained, based on gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis, was similar to that for liver microsomes. Herein, the results of the in vitro experiments carried out using homogenized horse liver for five anabolic steroids-turinabol, methenolone acetate, androst-4-ene-3,6,17-trione, testosterone, and epitestosterone-are discussed. In addition to the previously reported in vitro metabolites, some additional known in vivo metabolites in the equine could also be detected. As far as we know, this is the first report of the successful use of homogenized liver in the horse for carrying out in vitro metabolism experiments. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Wong C.H.F.,Racing Laboratory | Tang F.P.W.,Racing Laboratory | Wan T.S.M.,Racing Laboratory
Analytica Chimica Acta | Year: 2011

The authors' laboratory at one time employed four liquid chromatography/mass spectrometric (LC/MS) methods for the detection of a large variety of drugs in equine urine. Drug classes covered by these methods included anti-diabetics, anti-ulcers, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors, sedatives, corticosteroids, anabolic steroids, sulfur diuretics, xanthines, etc. With the objective to reduce labour and instrumental workload, a new ultra performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometric (UPLC/MS/MS) method has been developed, which encompasses all target analytes detected by the original four LC/MS methods. The new method has better detection limits than the superseded methods. In addition, it covers new target analytes that could not be adequately detected by the four LC/MS methods. The new method involves solid-phase extraction (SPE) of two aliquots of equine urine using two Abs Elut Nexus cartridges. One aliquot of the urine sample is treated with β-glucuronidase before subjecting to SPE. A second aliquot of the same urine sample is processed directly using another SPE cartridge, so that drugs that are prone to decomposition during enzyme hydrolysis can be preserved. The combined eluate is analysed by UPLC/MS/MS using alternating positive and negative electrospray ionisation in the selected-reaction-monitoring mode. Exceptional chromatographic separation is achieved using an UPLC system equipped with a UPLC ® BEH C18 column (10cmL×2.1mm ID with 1.7μm particles). With this newly developed UPLC/MS/MS method, the simultaneous detection of 140 drugs at ppb to sub-ppb levels in equine urine can be achieved in less than 13min inclusive of post-run equilibration. Matrix interference for the selected transitions at the expected retention times is minimised by the excellent UPLC chromatographic separation. The method has been validated for recovery and precision, and is being used regularly in the authors' laboratory as an important component of the array of screening methods for doping control analyses of equine urine samples. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Kwok W.H.,Racing Laboratory | Leung D.K.K.,Racing Laboratory | Leung G.N.W.,Racing Laboratory | Wan T.S.M.,Racing Laboratory | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Chromatography A | Year: 2010

A rapid liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS-MS) method was developed for the simultaneous screening of 19 drugs of different classes in equine plasma using automated on-line solid-phase extraction (SPE) coupled with a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer. Plasma samples were first protein precipitated using acetonitrile. After centrifugation, the supernatant was directly injected into the on-line SPE system and analysed by a triple quadrupole LC-MS-MS in positive electrospray ionisation (+ESI) mode with selected reaction monitoring (SRM) scan function. On-line extraction and chromatographic separation of the targeted drugs were performed using respectively a polymeric extraction column (2 cm L× 2.1 mm ID, 25 μm particle size) and a reversed-phase C18 LC column (3 cm L× 2.1 mm ID, 3 μm particle size) with gradient elution to provide fast analysis time. The overall instrument turnaround time was 9.5. min, inclusive of post-run and equilibration time. Plasma samples fortified with 19 targeted drugs including narcotic analgesics, local anaesthetics, antipsychotics, bronchodilators, mucolytics, corticosteroids, sedative and tranquillisers at sub-parts per billion (ppb) to low parts per trillion (ppt) levels could be consistently detected. No significant matrix interference was observed at the expected retention times of the targeted ion transitions. Over 70% of the drugs studied gave detection limits at or below 100. pg/mL, with some detection limits reaching down to 19. pg/mL. The method had been validated for extraction recovery, precision and sensitivity, and a blockage study had also been carried out. This method is used regularly in the authors' laboratory to screen for the presence of targeted drugs in pre-race plasma samples from racehorses. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

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