A rapid and sensitive method for the analysis of brain monoamine neurotransmitters using ultra-fast liquid chromatography coupled to electrochemical detection

J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2011 Dec 15;879(32):3871-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2011.10.038. Epub 2011 Nov 3.


Electrochemical detection is often used to detect catecholamines and indolamines in brain samples that have been separated by conventional reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). This paper presents the transfer of an existing chromatographic method for the determination of monoamines in brain tissues using 5 μm granulometry HPLC columns to columns with a particle diameter less than 3 μm. Several parameters (repeatability, linearity, accuracy, limit of detection, and stability of samples) for this new ultrafast high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) method were examined after optimization of the analytical conditions. The separation of seven compounds, noradrenaline, dopamine and three of its metabolites, dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, homovanillic acid, and 3-methoxytyramine, and serotonin and its metabolite, 5-hydroxyindole-3-acetic acid was analyzed using this UHPLC-electrochemical detection method. The final method, which was applied to brain tissue extracts from mice, rats, and cats, decreased analysis time by a factor of 4 compared to HPLC, while guaranteeing good analytical performance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid / analysis
  • Animals
  • Brain Chemistry*
  • Catecholamines / analysis*
  • Cats
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods*
  • Drug Stability
  • Homovanillic Acid / analysis
  • Limit of Detection
  • Mice
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / analysis*
  • Rats
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Serotonin / analysis*


  • Catecholamines
  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid
  • Serotonin
  • Homovanillic Acid