Variability in the levels of GSH and GSSG in plasma is suggested to derive from inadequate pre-processing methods. The aim of this study was to develop a protocol for comparable and reliable measurements of GSH/GSSG. Venous blood from 8 healthy individuals were collected and divided into 7 different pre-processing procedures. For three of the samples an extraction mixture was added after 0 (baseline), 4 and 8 min and for three of the samples the extraction mixture was added at different times during defrost. A worst case scenario where a sample was left in a cool box during 6 h was also included. The samples were analyzed with UHPLC-ESI-MSMS. A large difference in the levels of GSH and GSSG were identified and it was clearly associated with the sample handling procedures. A sample left untreated for 4 min will have significantly reduced amount of GSH. Stability tests showed that the level of GSH was reduced after 3 months in -80 °C.
Keywords: GSH; GSSG; Glutathione; Plasma; Sample pre-processing; UHPLC-ESI-MS.
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