An integrated coupled column liquid chromatography system for the determination of leukotriene metabolites in biological samples
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A fully integrated chromatographic system was developed for the determination of leukotrienes in biological samples using photodiode-array detection (PDAD), which eliminates time consuming manual sample handling steps. A special solid phase extraction, (SPE) methodology for leucotriene metabolite stability was developed which increased the recoveries and eliminates the contamination risk of biological samples. The inherent instability (autooxidation) of many of the leukotriene mediators, and the adsorption effects onto exposed surfaces in vials and in the chromatographic system were found to be very important parameters to control in order to circumvent high loss of sample analytes. By binding the cell supernatants to the functionalities of the SPE support stabilised these mediators. Cell culture samples were eluted through a disposable C18 SPE column. The SPE columns were allowed to thaw and deposited in an automated sample handling unit (ASPEC XL). Desorption of the analytes was followed by a second on-line SPE step, to eliminate remaining interfering matrix compounds. Typical recoveries when stored at −70°C were in-between 55–97% except for (LTE4) which was found to be around 40% after 72 days of storage. Seven reversed-phase packings were studied. Selectivity factors, as well as the separation efficiencies, were found to differ for the various C18 bonded silica stationary phases. This integrated on-line column liquid chromatographic system was applied to the determination of leukotriene B4, leukotriene C4, leukotriene D4, leukotriene and E4 in human cell extracts using prostaglandin B2 as the internal standard. More than 1500 biological samples were analysed. Some validation data are presented for unattended operations.
Key WordsColumn liquid chromatography Solid phase extraction Photodiode-array detection Biological samples Leukotrienes
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