Development and validation of a sensitive LC/MS/MS method for the determination of γ-tocotrienol in rat plasma: application to pharmacokinetic studies


H. Xie, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, USA. E-mail:


γ-Tocotrienol has attracted much attention owing to its multiple health benefits. This study developed and validated a simple, specific, sensitive and reliable LC/MS/MS method to analyze γ-tocotrienol in rat plasma. Plasma samples (50 μL) were extracted with internal standard solution (25 ng/mL of itraconazole) in acetonitrile (200 μL) with an average recovery of 44.7% and an average matrix effect of −2.9%. The separation of γ-tocotrienol and internal standard from the plasma components was achieved with a Waters XTerra® MS C18 column with acetonitrile–water as mobile phase. Analysis was performed under positive ionization electrospray mass spectrometer via the multiple reaction monitoring. The standard curve was linear over a concentration range of 10–1000 ng/mL with correlation coefficient values >0.997. The method was validated with intra- and inter-day accuracy (relative error) ranging from 1.79 to 9.17% and from 2.16 to 9.66%, respectively, and precision (coefficient of variation) ranged from 1.94 to 9.25% and from 2.37 to 10.08%, respectively. Short-term stability, freeze–thaw stability and the processed sample stability tests were performed. This method was further applied to analyze γ-tocotrienol plasma concentrations in rats at various time points after administration of a 2 mg/kg single intravenous dose, and a pharmacokinetic profile was successfully obtained. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.