, Volume 379, Issue 3, pp 540-543
Date: 01 Apr 2004

Rapid quantification of juvenile hormones and their metabolites in insect haemolymph by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS)

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A simple, fast and sensitive method was developed for routine determination of juvenile hormone (JH), JH diols and JH acids in insect haemolymph, by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Sample clean-up involves the precipitation of proteins by methanol/isooctane (1:1, v/v), centrifugation and partial evaporation of the organic solvents. Since JH is bound to a carrier protein in the haemolymph, a binding protein (BP) assay was performed to ensure JH is removed during precipitation. The JH compounds were separated on a C18 column (ReproSil-Pur ODS-3) by gradient elution with water and methanol in less than 22 min and analysed by electrospray mass spectrometry. Due to the high abundance of Na+ in insect haemolymph, [M+Na]+ is primarily formed. The limit of detection and quantification was 6 and 20 pg for JHs, and 8 and 25 pg for JH diols, respectively. To demonstrate the applicability of the method to different insect orders, haemolymph samples from the Mediterranean field cricket (Gryllus bimaculatus), the fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), the pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum) and an ant species (Myrmicaria eumenoides) were analysed.

Funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) Graduate College 678: Ecological Significance of Natural Compounds and other Signals in Insects—from Structure to Function.
Parts of this paper were presented at the 21st Conference of European Comparative Endocrinologists, 26–30 August 2002, Bonn, Germany