American Chemical Society
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Bile Acid Profiling and Quantification in Biofluids Using Ultra-Performance Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-10-06, 00:00 authored by Magali H. Sarafian, Matthew R. Lewis, Alexandros Pechlivanis, Simon Ralphs, Mark J. W. McPhail, Vishal C. Patel, Marc-Emmanuel Dumas, Elaine Holmes, Jeremy K. Nicholson
Bile acids are important end products of cholesterol metabolism. While they have been identified as key factors in lipid emulsification and absorption due to their detergent properties, bile acids have also been shown to act as signaling molecules and intermediates between the host and the gut microbiota. To further the investigation of bile acid functions in humans, an advanced platform for high throughput analysis is essential. Herein, we describe the development and application of a 15 min UPLC procedure for the separation of bile acid species from human biofluid samples requiring minimal sample preparation. High resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometry was applied for profiling applications, elucidating rich bile acid profiles in both normal and disease state plasma. In parallel, a second mode of detection was developed utilizing tandem mass spectrometry for sensitive and quantitative targeted analysis of 145 bile acid (BA) species including primary, secondary, and tertiary bile acids. The latter system was validated by testing the linearity (lower limit of quantification, LLOQ, 0.25–10 nM and upper limit of quantification, ULOQ, 2.5–5 μM), precision (≈6.5%), and accuracy (81.2–118.9%) on inter- and intraday analysis achieving good recovery of bile acids (serum/plasma 88% and urine 93%). The ultra performance liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS)/MS targeted method was successfully applied to plasma, serum, and urine samples in order to compare the bile acid pool compositional difference between preprandial and postprandial states, demonstrating the utility of such analysis on human biofluids.