Miconazole has one chiral center, and consists of two enantiomers. In this study, a novel chiral liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry method was developed for enantioselective separation and determination of miconazole in rat plasma. For the first time, the enantioselective pharmacokinetics of miconazole was investigated by the current method. Firstly, attempts were made to separate the enantiomers in reversed-phase mode with a mobile phase that was mass spectrometry compatible. Baseline separation was achieved on a Chiralpak IC column with a mobile phase composed of acetonitrile and aqueous ammonium hydrogen carbonate (5 mM; 80:20, v/v). Data were acquired in multiple reaction monitoring mode with positive electrospray ionization by triple-quadrupole mass spectrometry. Then, overall method validation regarding the linearity, accuracy, precision, extraction recovery, matrix effect, and stability of each enantiomer was performed, and acceptable results were obtained for all of these. Finally, the method developed was applied in an enantioselective pharmacokinetic study of miconazole enantiomers in rats after oral administration of racemic miconazole at doses of 5 and 10 mg/kg. The results demonstrated that (–)-(R)-miconazole had a higher concentration than (+)-(S)-miconazole in plasma, with a ratio of 1.3–1.7 for both doses. This is the first experimental evidence of enantioselective behavior of miconazole in vivo, and provides a reference for clinical practice and encourages further research into miconazole enantioselective metabolism and drug interactions.
Miconazole enantiomers Liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry Enantioselective pharmacokinetics
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Compliance with ethical standards
All procedures involving animals were performed in accordance with the regulations of the Experimental Animal Administration (State Committee of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China) and were approved by the Medical Ethics Committee of Shenyang Pharmaceutical University (no. SYPU-IACUC-C2016-11-23-201, no. SYPU-IACUC-C2017-6-16-201).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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