Structure elucidation and HPLC-MS/MS determination of a potential biomarker for estradiol administration in cattle

Regal, Patricia; Seijas, Julio A.; Cepeda, Alberto; Fente, Cristina
November 2013
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Nov2013, Vol. 405 Issue 27, p9537
Academic Journal
Administration of hormonal compounds as growth promoters in livestock farming was banned by Council Directive 96/22/EC. However, this kind of substances is sometimes reported within the framework of European monitoring residue plans. Various analytical methods have been previously developed to screen for their misuse, and they are now especially efficient for monitoring the illegal administration of synthetic and semisynthetic hormones. Nevertheless, proving an exogenous administration of hormones from natural origin (i.e., estradiol-17β or progesterone) still remains a challenge for European authorities. These target compounds are indeed always present in the animal matrix, and the establishment of reference thresholds appears very difficult because of the extreme variability existing among animals. In 2011, a metabolomics study was performed on serum samples obtained from cows treated with estradiol-17β (or its ester estradiol benzoate) and from control animals using a high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)-LTQ-Orbitrap system. After appropriate data processing and multivariate statistical analysis (orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis), it was possible to highlight one potential biomarker candidate of estradiol treatments in bovine animals. Now, this biomarker has been structurally elucidated as a dipeptide, and its usefulness has been tested through a targeted HPLC-MS/MS method. Its presence in the previous samples has been confirmed and also in additional samples from estradiol-treated animals.


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