D-amino acids were determined in brain, body fluids (urine, blood coagulate, serum, plasma) and faeces of animals belonging to nine out of 11 taxonomic orders of vertebrates (Artiodactyla, Aves, Carnivora, Lagomorpha, Marsupalia, Osteichthyes, Primates, Rodentia, Tubilidentata). Free amino acids were isolated by means of cation exchangers and converted into volatile N(O)-perfluoroacylamino acid propyl esters. Derivatives of amino acids were separated into D- and L-enantiomers using Chirasil-L-Val capillary columns and detected by selected ion monitoring mass spectrometry. Quantification of amino acids was achieved by comparison of analytes with amino acid standards using L-norleucine as internal standard. Large relative amounts of D-serine were determined in brains of mammals but not of birds. In body fluids the D-enantiomers of most proteinogenic L-amino acids were detected, largest absolute and relative amounts were found in urine. Therein quantities of D-Ala and D-Ser exceeded 50% relative to the L-enantiomers in many instances. Feeding animals with diet fortified with DL-Met resulted in excretion of almost racemic Met in urine. D-Amino acids were also abundant in faeces of rodents. The data confirm that d-amino acids are common in body fluids and certain tissues of vertebrates.
Copyright 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.