Identification and quantification of 4′-methoxy-α-pyrrolidinobutiophenone (4-MeOPBP) in human plasma and urine using LC–TOF-MS in an autopsy case
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We encountered an autopsy case of a 35-year-old man who drowned in a bathtub. Nine opened packages of designer drugs containing herbal blends, powders, or liquid were found at the scene, implying abuse. The plasma and urine samples of the deceased were analyzed using liquid chromatography–time-of-flight-mass spectrometry (LC–TOF-MS) with MSE. A new synthetic cathinone, 4′-methoxy-α-pyrrolidinobutiophenone (4-MeOPBP), emerged as a suspected component via elemental composition and molecular structure analyses with acquisition of full spectra of the precursor and product ions by MSE mode. The component was finally identified by comparing the mass spectra obtained from the deceased’s samples with those of the reference standard 4-MeOPBP using LC–TOF-MS and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. Furthermore, 4-MeOPBP was the main component of an opened package labeled “Silver Snow”. The concentrations of 4-MeOPBP in plasma and urine samples were as high as 9.5 and 12 μg/ml, respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first report disclosing 4-MeOPBP in human specimens.
Keywords4′-Methoxy-α-pyrrolidinobutiophenone 4-MeOPBP Synthetic cathinone derivative Liquid chromatography–time-of-flight mass spectrometry LC–TOF-MS Human plasma
We thank Dr. Kanju Saka of the Department of Forensic Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, at the University of Tokyo for advice on data analysis. This study was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 25293162.
Conflict of interest
There are no financial or other relations that could lead to a conflict of interest.
Informed consent was obtained from all healthy individuals included in the study, who supplied about 1 ml of whole blood and about 10 ml of urine for use as blank materials.
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