Determination of albumin adducts of (+)-anti-benzo[a]pyrene-diol-epoxide using an high-performance liquid chromatographic column switching technique for sample preparation and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for the final detection

J Chromatogr B Biomed Sci Appl. 1998 Aug 25;713(2):331-7. doi: 10.1016/s0378-4347(98)00208-4.


A novel method has been developed for the determination of (+)-anti-benzo[a]pyrene-diol-epoxide [(+)-anti-BPDE] albumin adducts in the low-picogram range. Blood from rats and humans was investigated for the validation of the method. Instead of the usual acid hydrolysis we used alkaline conditions for the cleavage of the esters formed with asparagic or glutamic acid residues of albumin. Alkaline hydrolysis gave rise to benzo[a]pyrene-r-7,t-8,t-9,c-10-tetrahydrotetrol (BT I-1) which was separated from the matrix by HPLC with a column switching technique. The analytes were collected by an automated fraction collector and after silylation determined with GC-MS using negative chemical ionization. Adduct concentrations were calculated by the internal standard method. Benzo[a]pyrene-r-7,t-8,c-9,c-10-tetrahydrotetrol (BT-II-2) was used as an internal standard because of its similar physicochemical properties and its absence from human samples. To determine the recovery of the analytical procedure benzo[a]pyrene-r-7,t-8,t-9,t-10-tetrahydrotetrol (BT I-2) was added at the end of the sample clean-up. Single ion recording mode was applied for the detection of the analyte and the standards using the abundant fragment ion m/z 284 for quantitation of the three tetrols. The mean recovery of the internal standard BT II-2 was about 50%. The limit of detection was 0.15 pg per injection corresponding to 0.01 fmol/mg albumin. Regression coefficients of the calibration curves were r2=0.99 and r2=0.98 for BT I-1 concentration ranges of 4-400 ng/l and 4-40 ng/l, respectively. The mean coefficient of variation for duplicate analyses of human albumin samples was found to be 22%.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzo(a)pyrene / analogs & derivatives
  • Benzo(a)pyrene / analysis*
  • Benzo(a)pyrene / chemistry
  • Benzo(a)pyrene / toxicity
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Carcinogens, Environmental / analysis*
  • Carcinogens, Environmental / chemistry
  • Carcinogens, Environmental / toxicity
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Female
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Serum Albumin / analysis*
  • Serum Albumin / chemistry
  • Stereoisomerism


  • Biomarkers
  • Carcinogens, Environmental
  • Serum Albumin
  • Benzo(a)pyrene
  • benzo(a)pyrene-7,8,9,10-tetrol