Determination of PAHs and OH-PAHs in rat brain by gas chromatography tandem (triple quadrupole) mass spectrometry.
- Human Biomonitoring Research Unit
An efficient and selective method for the quantitative determination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and their monohydroxylated metabolites (OH-PAHs) in rat brain tissue using gas chromatography tandem (triple quadrupole) mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) was developed and validated. The list of molecules investigated comprised the 16 PAHs from the US-EPA list and 53 of their OH-PAHs. Brain extract was submitted to enzymatic hydrolysis, followed by liquid-liquid extraction, and then purified by solid-phase extraction. Limits of quantification ranged from 0.6 to 29 pg/mg and from 0.5 to 30 pg/mg for PAHs and OH-PAHs respectively. The analysis of rat brain samples exposed to PAH mixture (0.01-1 mg/kg, 28 days, ip) demonstrated that this method allowed the detection of 16 PAHs and 28 OH-PAHs out of the 69 analytes investigated. Mean concentrations of PAHs in animal brain samples exposed to 1 mg/kg of PAH mixture ranged from 3.0 +/- 2 pg/mg for benzo[b]fluoranthene to 146 +/- 29 pg/mg for phenanthrene. Concomitantly, mean concentrations of OH-PAHs ranged from 0.49 +/- 0.4 to 26.5 +/- 23 pg/mg for 2-OH-chrysene and 1-OH-pyrene respectively. This study proves, for the first time, the bioavailability of most of the PAHs and OH-PAHs in mammalian brain tissue and should provide an important new tool for future neurotoxicological studies.