A sensitive and fast high-performance liquid chromatography-diode-array detection assay was developed and validated for the simultaneous quantification of 5-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-5-phenylhydantoin (HPPH), phenytoin (PHT) and lamotrigine (LTG) in samples of cultured HepaRG cells. Chromatographic separation of analytes and internal standard (IS) was achieved in ∼15 min on a C18-column, at 35°C, using acetonitrile (6%), methanol (25%) and a mixture (69%) of water-triethylamine (99.7:0.3, v/v; pH 6.0), pumped at 1 mL/min. The analytes and IS were detected at 215 or 235 nm. Calibration curves were linear with regression coefficients >0.994 over the concentration ranges of 0.1-15 µg/mL for HPPH; 0.15-30 µg/mL for PHT and 0.2-20 µg/mL for LTG. The method showed to be accurate (bias value of ±10.5 or ±17.6% in the lower limit of quantification, LLOQ) and precise (coefficient variation ≤8.1 or ≤15.4% in the LLOQ), and the absolute recovery of the analytes ranged from 62.5 to 96.9%. HepaRG cells have emerged as a very promising in vitro model to evaluate metabolic, drug interaction and/or pharmacokinetic studies, and this methodology will be suitable to support subsequent studies involving the antiepileptic drugs PHT and LTG.
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