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Neiens, Patrick; De Simone, Angela; Ramershoven, Anna; Höfner, Georg; Allmendinger, Lars; Wanner, Klaus T. (2018): Development and validation of an LC-ESI-MS/MS method for the quantification of D-84, reboxetine and citalopram for their use in MS Binding Assays addressing the monoamine transporters hDAT, hSERT and hNET. In: Biomedical Chromatography, Vol. 32, No. 7, e4231
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Abstract

MS Binding Assays represent a label-free alternative to radioligand binding assays. In this study, we present an LC-ESI-MS/MS method for the quantification of (R,R)-4-(2-benzhydryloxyethyl)-1-(4-fluorobenzyl)piperidin-3-ol [(R,R)-D-84, (R,R)-1], (S,S)-reboxetine [(S,S)-2], and (S)-citalopram [(S)-3] employed as highly selective nonlabeled reporter ligands in MS Binding Assays addressing the dopamine [DAT, (R,R)-D-84], norepinephrine [NET, (S,S)-reboxetine] and serotonin transporter [SERT, (S)-citalopram], respectively. The developed LC-ESI-MS/MS method uses a pentafluorphenyl stationary phase in combination with a mobile phase composed of acetonitrile and ammonium formate buffer for chromatography and a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer in the multiple reaction monitoring mode for mass spectrometric detection. Quantification is based on deuterated derivatives of all three analytes serving as internal standards. The established LC-ESI-MS/MS method enables fast, robust, selective and highly sensitive quantification of all three reporter ligands in a single chromatographic run. The method was validated according to the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) guideline for bioanalytical method validation regarding selectivity, accuracy, precision, calibration curve and sensitivity. Finally, filtration-based MS Binding Assays were performed for all three monoamine transporters based on this LC-ESI-MS/MS quantification method as read out. The affinities determined in saturation experiments for (R,R)-D-84 toward hDAT, for (S,S)-reboxetine toward hNET, and for (S)-citalopram toward hSERT, respectively, were in good accordance with results from literature, clearly demonstrating that the established MS Binding Assays have the potential to be an efficient alternative to radioligand binding assays widely used for this purpose so far.