Liquid chromatographic assay for the simultaneous determination of indole-3-carbinol and its acid condensation products in plasma

J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2003 Apr 25;787(2):281-91. doi: 10.1016/s1570-0232(02)00923-6.


A high-performance liquid chromatographic method was developed for the simultaneous determination of indole-3-carbinol (I3C), 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM), [2-(indol-3-ylmethyl)-indol-3-yl]indol-3-ylmethane (LTr(1)), and indolo[3,2b]carbazole (ICZ). Compounds were extracted from mouse plasma using tert.-butyl methyl ether, incorporating 4-methoxy-indole as internal standard. Chromatographic separation utilized a Waters Symmetry RP18 in tandem with a Thermoquest BDS C(18) column, an acetonitrile-water gradient and UV (280 nm) in series with fluorescence (ex. 335 nm; em. 415 nm) detection. Calibration curves were linear (r(2)>0.99) between 50 and 15,000 ng/ml for I3C; 150 and 15,000 ng/ml for LTr(1); and 0.15 and 37.5 ng/ml for ICZ and the method was reproducible and precise (within-day and between-day coefficients of variation below 9.7 and 13%, respectively). The method described is suitable for comprehensive pharmacokinetic studies with indole-3-carbinol.

MeSH terms

  • Calibration
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods*
  • Indoles / blood*
  • Reference Standards
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spectrophotometry, Ultraviolet


  • Indoles
  • indole-3-carbinol