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Subpicogram per Milliliter Determination of the Tobacco-Specific Carcinogen Metabolite 4-(Methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol in Human Urine Using Liquid Chromatography−Tandem Mass Spectrometry

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Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, the Departments of Medicine, Psychiatry, and Biopharmaceutical Sciences, San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center, 1001 Potrero Avenue, University of California, San Francisco, UCSF Box 1220, San Francisco, California 94143-1220, Diagnostic Laboratory, National Cancer Center, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea 410-769, and Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, UCSF Box 0924, San Francisco, California 94113-0924
* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: [email protected]. Phone: (415) 282-9495. Fax: (415) 206-5080.
†Division of Clinical Pharmacology, University of California, San Francisco.
‡National Cancer Center.
§Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of California, San Francisco.
Cite this: Anal. Chem. 2008, 80, 21, 8115–8121
Publication Date (Web):October 8, 2008
https://doi.org/10.1021/ac8009005
Copyright © 2008 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

    Exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke (SHS) has been linked to increased risk for a number of diseases, including lung cancer. The tobacco-specific nitrosamine 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK) is of particular interest due to its potency and its specificity in producing lung tumors in animals. The NNK metabolite 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL) in urine is frequently used as a biomarker for exposure. Due to its long half-life (40−45 days), NNAL may provide a long-term, time-averaged measure of exposure. We developed a highly sensitive liquid chromatography−tandem mass spectrometry method for determination of NNAL in human urine. The method involves liquid−liquid extraction followed by conversion to the hexanoate ester derivative. This derivative facilitates separation from interfering urinary constituents by extraction and chromatography and enhances detection with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. The lower limit of quantitation is 0.25 pg/mL for 5-mL urine specimens. Applications to studies of people with a range of different SHS exposure levels is described.

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