Study of the gastrointestinal biotransformation of zearalenone in a Caco-2 cell culture system with liquid chromatographic methods.J Appl Toxicol. 2008 Nov; 28(8):966-73.JA
A high-performance liquid chromatography method with fluorescence detection (HPLC-FLD) was developed and validated for the detection of zearalenone (ZON), alpha-zearalenol (alpha-ZOL) and beta-zearalenol (beta-ZOL) in in vitro biological samples. Furthermore, a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method was developed and validated for the detection of ZON, alpha-ZOL, beta-ZOL, alpha-zearalanol (alpha-ZAL) and beta-zearalanol (beta-ZAL) in in vitro biological samples. Zearalanone (ZAN) was used as internal standard in both methods. The limit of detection/limit of quantitation (LOD/LOQ) values for ZON, alpha-ZOL and beta-ZOL were 2/7, 2/7 and 4/13 microg l(-1), respectively, for the HPLC-FLD method. For the LC-MS/MS method LOD/LOQ values for ZON, alpha-ZOL, beta-ZOL, alpha-ZAL and beta-ZAL were 6/20, 5/17, 4/14, 9/30 and 6/19 microg l(-1), respectively. Within-day and between-day precision were less then 11 and 14%, respectively for the HPLC-FLD method, and both less then 20% for the LC-MS/MS method. The recovery of ZON and its metabolites ranged between 73 and 89% for the HPLC-FLD method and between 69 and 112% for the LC-MS/MS method. The methods were used for the detection of the compounds in in vitro biological samples, obtained with human intestinal Caco-2 cells culture experiments. The 8-days post-confluent Caco-2 cells were treated with ZON or a mixture of ZON and imazalil (IMA). After an incubation time of 24 h the samples were analysed with the HPLC-FLD method. Neither ZON nor its derivatives were detected in the samples. The disappearance of ZON could possibly point out the formation of phase II metabolites like glucuronide conjugates. Therefore, samples were pretreated with beta-glucuronidase before LC-MS/MS analysis. The LC-MS/MS results showed that ZON, alpha-ZOL and beta-ZOL could only be detected in the beta-glucuronidase pretreated samples. This confirmed the formation of glucuronide conjugates and the hydroxylation of ZON during the incubation with Caco-2 cells.