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Detection and characterization of ticlopidine conjugates in rat bile using high-resolution mass spectrometry: applications of various data acquisition and processing tools


Correspondence to: Jie Xing, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Shandong University, 44# West Wenhua Road, Jinan 250012, China. Email:

Mingshe Zhu, Biotransformation Dept, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ 08543, USA. E–mail:


Ticlopidine, an antiplatelet drug, undergoes extensive oxidative metabolism to form S-oxide, N-oxide, hydroxylated and dealkylated metabolites. However, metabolism of ticlopidine via conjugation has not been thoroughly investigated. In this study, multiple data acquisition and processing tools were applied to the detection and characterization of ticlopidine conjugates in rat bile. Accurate full-scan mass spectrometry (MS) and collision-induced dissociation (CID) MS/MS data sets were recorded using isotope pattern-dependent acquisition on an LTQ/Orbitrap system. In addition, mass spectral data from online H/D exchanging and high collision energy dissociation (HCD) were recorded. Data processes were carried out using extracted ion chromatography (EIC), mass defect filter (MDF) and isotope pattern filter (IPF). The total ion chromatogram displayed a few major conjugated metabolites and many endogenous components. Profiles from EIC and IPF processes exhibited multiple conjugates with no or minimal false positives. However, ticlopidine conjugates that were not predictable or lost a chorine atom were not found by EIC or IPF, respectively. MDF was able to detect almost all of ticlopidine conjugates although it led to a few more false positives. In addition to CID spectra, data from HCD, H/D exchanging experiments and isotope pattern simulation facilitated structural characterization of unknown conjugates. Consequently, 20 significant ticlopidine conjugates, including glucuronide, glutathione, cysteinylglycine, cysteine and N-acetylcysteine conjugates, were identified in rat bile, a majority of which are associated with bioactivation and not previously reported. This study demonstrates the utility and limitation of various high-resolution MS-based data acquisition and processing techniques in detection and characterization of conjugated metabolites. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.