A simple HPLC method for doxorubicin in plasma and tissues of nude mice

Arch Pharm Res. 2009 Apr;32(4):605-11. doi: 10.1007/s12272-009-1417-5. Epub 2009 Apr 29.


Doxorubicin is a cytotoxic anthracycline that has been used for the treatment of several malignancies. Several HPLC methods have been reported for the quantification of doxorubicin in biological samples. Tissue matrix effect and sample size requirements, however, have been remaining issues for simple and easy-to-adapt analytical methods in small animal experiments. The present study established a simple HPLC method for doxorubicin in plasma and tissues (tumor, heart, spleen, liver, gastrointestinal tract, brain, lung, and kidney) of nude mice. Our method required a small sample volume (100 microL plasma and 10 mg tissue), which made it possible to use each blank tissue for calibration curves. The limit of quantification was 25 ng/mL in plasma and 0.1 to 0.4 microg/mg in other tissues with recovery rates ranging from 52.4 to 95.2%. The linearity, accuracy and precision in all tissues, except gastrointestinal tract (GIT), were found to be acceptable in the range of 25-2000 ng/mL plasma and 0.1-4 ng/mg tissue. This method was used successfully to determine the drug concentration in plasma and tissues of human tumor xenograft-bearing nude mice given intratumoral doxorubicin in a polymeric drug delivery system designed for sustained release. In conclusion, the present method may be useful as a simple and easy-to-adapt, yet, sensitive analytical method of doxorubicin for plasma and tissue pharmacokinetic studies in small animals such as nude mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / blood
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / pharmacokinetics*
  • Calibration
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid* / standards
  • Doxorubicin / blood
  • Doxorubicin / pharmacokinetics*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Stomach Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Doxorubicin