Development of an LC-MS/MS method for the analysis of serotonin and related compounds in urine and the identification of a potential biomarker for attention deficit hyperactivity/hyperkinetic disorder
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Serotonin is a major neurotransmitter and affects various functions both in the brain and in the rest of the body. It has been demonstrated that altered serotinergic function is implicated in various psychiatric disorders including depression and schizophrenia. Serotonin has also been implicated along with dopamine in attention deficit–hyperkinetic disorder (AD-HKD). This study provides a versatile validated method for the analysis of serotonin, hydroxyindole acetic acid and dopamine in urine using LC-MS/MS. This method was then used to quantify these analytes in a test group of 17 children diagnosed with severe AD-HKD. This group was compared to a matched control group to investigate the possibility that one of these compounds may be a potential biomarker for this condition. The developed method provided good linear calibration curves for the multiplex assay of analytes in urine (0.05–3.27 nmol/L; R2 ≥ 0.9977). Acceptable inter-day repeatability was achieved for all analytes with RSD values (n = 9) ranging from 1.1% to 9.3% over a concentration range of 0.11–3.27 μmol/L in urine. Excellent limits of detection (LOD) and limits of quantitation (LOQ) were achieved with LODs of 8.8–18.2 nmol/L and the LOQs of 29.4–55.7 nmol/L for analytes in urine. Recoveries were in the ranges of 98–104%, 100–106% and 91–107% for serotonin, 5-HIAA and dopamine, respectively. An appropriate sample clean-up procedure for urine was developed to ensure efficient recovery and reproducibility on analysis. Evaluation of matrix effects was also carried out and the influence of ion suppression on analytical results reported. Confirmatory analysis was carried out on a linear trap quadrupole-Orbitrap mass spectrometer to obtain high mass accuracy data of the target analytes in the clinical samples.