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Simultaneous quantitation of testosterone and estradiol in human cell line (H295R) by liquid chromatography/positive atmospheric pressure photoionization tandem mass spectrometry


F. Zhang, Toxicology and Environmental Research & Consulting, The Dow Chemical Company, 1803 Building, Midland, MI 48674, USA.



The possible interaction of environmental contaminants with the endocrine system has been an environmental concern since the early 1990s. To examine these interactions test guidelines have been introduced by regulatory agencies to screen for possible endocrine active compounds. One of these guidelines is the EPA's OPPTS 890.1550 [Steroidogenesis (Human Cell Line-H295R)]. This guideline requires the quantification of two major biomarkers (testosterone and estradiol) in various biological test systems. Traditional quantitation methodologies such as Radioimmunoassay (RIA) and Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) have been used to quantify low levels of steroids. However, those methodologies have drawbacks such as the radioactive safety, antibody availability, separate assay for each biomarker, and lack of selectivity. In the current study, a rapid and sensitive liquid chromatography/positive atmospheric pressure photoionization tandem mass spectrometry method (LC/APPI-MS/MS) has been developed and validated for the simultaneous quantitation of testosterone and estradiol in the H295R cell line. Briefly, the media from cultured cells was extracted with dichloromethane (CH2Cl2) containing internal standards of both testosterone-d3 and estradiol-13C3; then, the extracted organic layer was concentrated down to dryness. The final residue was derivatized with dansyl chloride solution, and directly analyzed by LC/APPI-MS/MS. The calibration curves, with concentration ranging from 10 to 2500 pg/mL, were linear with coefficient >0.99. The lower limits of quantitation for both testosterone and estradiol were 10 pg/mL. This method was successfully validated to support requirements of the current EPA Steroidogenesis guideline. This type of method may also provide value for rapid and precise measurements of these two hormones in other in vitro or in vivo test systems. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.