, 15:58 | Cite as

Metabolomic study of polyamines in rat urine following intraperitoneal injection of γ-hydroxybutyric acid

  • Hyeon-Seong Lee
  • Chan Seo
  • Young-A Kim
  • Meejung Park
  • Boyeon Choi
  • Moongi Ji
  • Sooyeun LeeEmail author
  • Man-Jeong PaikEmail author
Original Article



Recently, illegal abuse of γ-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) has increased in drug-facilitated crimes, but the determination of GHB exposure and intoxication is difficult due to rapid metabolism of GHB. Its biochemical mechanism has not been completely investigated. And a metabolomic study by polyamine profile and pattern analyses was not performed in rat urine following intraperitoneal injection with GHB.


Urinary polyamine (PA) profiling by gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was performed to monitor an altered PA according to GHB administration.


Polyamine profiling analysis by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry combined with star pattern recognition analysis was performed in this study. The multivariate statistical analysis was used to evaluate discrimination among control and GHB administration groups.


Six polyamines were determined in control, single and multiple GHB administration groups. Star pattern showed distorted hexagonal shapes with characteristic and readily distinguishable patterns for each group. N1-Acetylspermine (p < 0.001), putrescine (p < 0.006), N1-acetylspermidine (p < 0.009), and spermine (p < 0.027) were significantly increased in single administration group but were significantly lower in the multiple administration group than in the control group. N1-Acetylspermine was the main polyamine for discrimination among control, single and multiple administration groups. Spermine showed similar levels in single and multiple administration groups.


The polyamine metabolic pattern was monitored in GHB administration groups. N1-Acetylspermine and spermine were evaluated as potential biomarkers of GHB exposure and addiction.


Metabolomics γ-Hydroxybutyric acid Polyamine profiling analysis Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry Star pattern recognition analysis Multivariate analysis 



This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2016R1A6A1A03011325), by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (2015R1A4A1041219) and by Suncheon Research Center for Natural Medicines.

Author contributions

H-SL performed method development, optimization, validation and statistical analysis including application to asthma mice. MP and BC performed sampling of GHB administration models. CS and MJ performed optimization of method. Y-AK performed pre-analytical experiments and sample preparation. SL and M-JP designed the experiments and supervised this work. All of authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the National Forensic Service.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyeon-Seong Lee
    • 1
  • Chan Seo
    • 1
  • Young-A Kim
    • 1
  • Meejung Park
    • 2
  • Boyeon Choi
    • 3
  • Moongi Ji
    • 1
  • Sooyeun Lee
    • 3
    Email author
  • Man-Jeong Paik
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Pharmacy and Research Institute of Life and Pharmaceutical SciencesSunchon National UniversitySuncheonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.National Forensic ServiceWonjuRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.College of PharmacyKeimyung UniversityDaeguRepublic of Korea

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