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Keywords:

  • glaucine;
  • metabolism;
  • GC-MS;
  • LC-MSn;
  • LC-HR-MSn

Glaucine ((S)-5,6,6a,7-tetrahydro-1,2,9,10-tetramethoxy-6-methyl-4H-dibenzo [de,g]quinoline) is an isoquinoline alkaloid and main component of Glaucium flavum (Papaveraceae). It was described to be consumed as recreational drug alone or in combination with other drugs. Besides this, glaucine is used as therapeutic drug in Bulgaria and other countries as cough suppressant. Currently, there are no data available concerning metabolism and toxicological analysis of glaucine. To study both, glaucine was orally administered to Wistar rats and urine was collected. For metabolism studies, work-up of urine samples consisted of protein precipitation or enzymatic cleavage followed by solid-phase extraction. Samples were afterwards measured by liquid chromatography (LC) coupled to low or high-resolution mass spectrometry (HR-MS). The phase I and II metabolites were identified by detailed interpretation of the corresponding fragmentations, which were further confirmed by determination of their elemental composition using HR-MS. From these data, the following metabolic pathways could be proposed: O-demethylation at position 2, 9 and 10, N-demethylation, hydroxylation, N-oxidation and combinations of them as well as glucuronidation and/or sulfation of the phenolic metabolites. For monitoring a glaucine intake in case of abuse or poisoning, the O- and N-demethylated metabolites were the main targets for the gas chromatography-MS and LC-MSn screening approaches described by the authors. Both allowed confirming an intake of glaucine in rat urine after a dose of 2 mg/kg body mass corresponding to a common abuser's dose. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.