3-Nitrotyrosine, a product of tyrosine nitration, is useful as a marker for the generation of reactive nitrogen oxide species with short half-lives such as peroxynitrite. A reverse-phase high-pressure liquid chromatographic method using a dual-mode electrochemical detector in series with a photodiode array detector has been developed to determine the levels of 3-nitrotyrosine in biological samples. The principle of this method involves reduction of 3-nitrotyrosine at an upstream gold amalgam electrode and oxidation of the resulting product(s) at a downstream glassy carbon electrode. 3-Nitrotyrosine is quantified by the amount of the current generated at the downstream electrode, and a femtomole detection level can be achieved. The disappearance of the corresponding peak when the electrochemical detector is used only in the single oxidative mode provides additional evidence for the identity of 3-nitrotyrosine in the sample. Tyrosine from the same sample is determined by its UV absorption at 280 nm, thus eliminating the need for an internal standard. With this method a dose-dependent increase of 3- to 10-fold in the levels of protein 3-nitrotyrosine was observed in the blood plasma, and a 2- to 4-fold increase in the lung cytosols, of rats treated with the lung carcinogen and nitrating agent tetranitromethane.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.