Hydrophilic interaction chromatography with a focus on the drug-phosphate interaction in drug screening to determine the phospholipidosis induction risk

J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2017 Apr 15;1051:33-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2017.02.024. Epub 2017 Mar 2.


Cationic amphiphilic drugs (CADs) can induce the hyperaccumulation of phospholipids in cells and tissues. This side effect, which is known as drug-induced phospholipidosis, is sometimes problematic in the development and clinical use of CADs. It is known that CADs generally interact with phospholipids via both hydrophobic and acid-base interactions, and CADs with the larger affinity to phospholipid exhibit the larger induction risk. To develop a chromatographic assay system to predict the phospholipidosis-inducing potential with considering the acid-base interaction between CAD and phosphate group of phospholipid, hydrophilic interaction chromatographic (HILIC) methods were tested in this study. First, a PC HILIC column with phosphocholine groups on a packed material was used. The acid-base or other hydrophilic interactions to the stationary phase differed among basic drugs, and retention to the PC HILIC column did not accurately reflect the induction potential of phospholipidosis. As an alternative HILIC approach, the elution of CADs with the phosphate buffer from an amide column was tested. The elution effect, which is expressed as ratio of retention factors between different phosphate content in the mobile phase, closely correlated with the induction potential. Using the elution effect and retention factor to a reversed-phase HPLC column, the phospholipidosis-inducing drugs were clearly discriminated from the non-inducers. These results suggest that the proposed chromatographic approach can screen phospholipidosis-inducing drugs.

Keywords: Cationic amphiphilic drug; Hydrophilic interaction chromatography; Phosphate; Phosphocholine; Phospholipidosis.

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / methods*
  • Humans
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
  • Lipidoses / chemically induced*
  • Lipidoses / metabolism
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / chemistry
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism*
  • Phosphates / metabolism*
  • Phospholipids / metabolism*


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Phosphates
  • Phospholipids