Evaluation of R- (-) and S- (+) Clenbuterol enantiomers during a doping cycle or continuous ingestion of contaminated meat using chiral liquid chromatography by LC-TQ-MS.Drug Test Anal. 2019 Aug; 11(8):1238-1247.DT
Clenbuterol is known to improve competition resistance and muscular growth in athletes. Although it is an illegal drug, its use by farmers is widely spread to induce growth of their cattle. Thus, when clenbuterol is found in the urine of an athlete, there is doubt whether it was consumed with doping purposes or if it is due to the consumption of meat from a clenbuterol-fed animal. Previous studies suggest that enantiomeric relationship of clenbuterol may be different according to the intake source. However, the enantiomeric relationship throughout a doping cycle or a continuous intake of contaminated meat has not yet been explored. In this first approximation, our aim was the development and validation of a sensitive and rapid method for the determination of S- (+) and R- (─) clenbuterol enantiomers to be used in a controlled study in rats fed for one week with contaminated meat or simulating a doping cycle. Enantiomers were measured using liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry with a triple quadrupole analyzer (LC-TQ-MS) and were separated on an AGP Chiralpak column. The method was fully validated following the VICH (Veterinary International Conference on Harmonization guidelines) and was linear in the range of 12.5-800 pg/mL with a correlation coefficient of ≥0.98 for each enantiomer, and with a limit of quantitation and detection (LOQ and LOD) of 12.5 pg/mL and 6.5 pg/mL, respectively, for both enantiomers. The application of this method pointed out the shift of the enantiomeric relationship in urine from rats during the first five days of the doping cycle compared to those fed with contaminated meat. This finding can be of substantial importance in further doping studies.