Besifloxacin is a fourth-generation broad-spectrum fluoroquinolone registered for the topical treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis. In this study, a rapid, sensitive and selective liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method was developed for quantification of besifloxacin in rabbit plasma and ocular tissues using nateglinide as the internal standard (IS). The analyte and IS were separated on a Sepax GP-Phenyl column by isocratic elution with methanol-acetonitrile-5 mM ammonium formate-formic acid (29:55:16:0.1, v/v/v/v) as the mobile phase at a flow rate of 1.2 mL/min, and the total run time was 3.0 min. An electrospray ionization (ESI) source was applied and operated in the positive ion mode; multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode was used for quantification, and the monitored transitions were 394.2→377.1 for besifloxacin and m/z 318.3→166.1 for the IS. The calibration curve was linear over the range of 0.103-206 ng/mL for plasma and 2.06-2060 ng/mL for tears, aqueous humor, conjunctiva and cornea with correlation coefficient (r) greater than 0.99. The lower limit of quantification (LLOQ) for besifloxacin was 0.103 ng/mL for plasma and 2.06 ng/mL for other ocular tissues with good accuracy and precision. Intra- and inter-batch precision were both lower than 15% and accuracy ranged from 85% to 115% at all QC levels. The method was successfully applied to the pharmacokinetic study of besifloxacin in rabbit plasma and ocular tissues after single and multiple topical administrations.
Keywords: Besifloxacin; Fluoroquinolone; LC–MS/MS; Ocular pharmacokinetics; Rabbit; Topical.
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