Tandem Laser-Induced Fluorescence and Mass Spectrometry Detection for High-Performance Liquid Chromatography Analysis of the in Vitro Metabolism of Doxorubicin

Structural characterization, identification, and quantification of xenobiotics and their metabolic products commonly require the use of at least two different techniques. This has been the case in the analysis of metabolic products of doxorubicin, a widely used fluorescent anthracycline for the treatment of tumors and leukemia. In this work, we combine high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with a tandem laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) and mass spectrometry (MS) detection scheme for the characterization of doxorubicin and its metabolites produced in the postmitochondrial fraction prepared from Fischer 344 rat liver. LIF detection allowed quantification of the metabolic compounds while MS detection aided in the identification of the metabolites. Using this HPLC-LIF-MS methodology, the disapperance of doxorubicin and the appearance of 7-deoxydoxorubicinone and 7-deoxydoxorubicinolone were monitored over the course of 40 min. This application demonstrates the potential of the tandem LIF-MS detection scheme in quantification and characterization of biotransformations of fluorescent xenobiotics of biomedical and environmental relevance. Furthermore, this detection scheme would be particularly relevant in the analysis of fluorescent analytes in complex samples and in validation of methods for the analysis of such samples that typically rely only on LIF detectors.