Metabolism of synthetic cannabinoids PB-22 and its 5-fluoro analog, 5F-PB-22, by human hepatocyte incubation and high-resolution mass spectrometry
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PB-22 (1-pentyl-8-quinolinyl ester-1H-indole-3-carboxylic acid) and 5F-PB-22 (1-(5-fluoropentyl)-8-quinolinyl ester-1H-indole-3-carboxylic acid) are new synthetic cannabinoids with a quinoline substructure and the first marketed substances with an ester bond linkage. No human metabolism data are currently available, making it difficult to document PB-22 and 5F-PB-22 intake from urine analysis, and complicating assessment of the drugs’ pharmacodynamic and toxicological properties.
We incubated 10 μmol/l PB-22 and 5F-PB-22 with pooled cryopreserved human hepatocytes up to 3 h and analyzed samples on a TripleTOF 5600+ high-resolution mass spectrometer. Data were acquired via TOF scan, followed by information-dependent acquisition triggered product ion scans with mass defect filtering (MDF). The accurate mass full scan MS and MS/MS metabolite datasets were analyzed with multiple data processing techniques, including MDF, neutral loss and product ion filtering.
The predominant metabolic pathway for PB-22 and 5F-PB-22 was ester hydrolysis yielding a wide variety of (5-fluoro)pentylindole-3-carboxylic acid metabolites. Twenty metabolites for PB-22 and 22 metabolites for 5F-PB-22 were identified, with the majority generated by oxidation with or without glucuronidation. For 5F-PB-22, oxidative defluorination occurred forming PB-22 metabolites. Both compounds underwent epoxide formation followed by internal hydrolysis and also produced a cysteine conjugate.
Human hepatic metabolic profiles were generated for PB-22 and 5F-PB-22. Pentylindole-3-carboxylic acid, hydroxypentyl-PB-22 and PB-22 pentanoic acid for PB-22, and 5′-fluoropentylindole-3-carboxylic acid, PB-22 pentanoic acid and the hydroxy-5F-PB-22 metabolite with oxidation at the quinoline system for 5F-PB-22 are likely the best targets to incorporate into analytical methods for urine to document PB-22 and 5F-PB-22 intake.
KeywordsSynthetic cannabinoids PB-22 5F-PB-22 High resolution mass spectrometry Metabolism
This research was funded by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health and AB SCIEX.
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