Quantitative determination of melatonin in human plasma and cerebrospinal fluid with high-performance liquid chromatography and fluorescence detection

Javier Sastre Torao, Petra Van Rijn-Bikker, Paull Merkus, Henk Jan Guchelaar*

*Corresponding author for this work

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A validated new and precise reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatographic method for the determination of melatonin in human plasma and cerebrospinal fluid, with 5-fluorotryptamine as internal standard, is described. Liquid-liquid extraction with dichloromethane was performed under alkaline conditions. After evaporation of the organic solvent, the extract was dissolved in eluent and chromatographed on a base-deactivated octadecyl column, using an eluent composed of 650 mL potassium dihydrogenphosphate solution (0.07 mo1/L water), adjusted to a pH of 3.0 with a 43% phosphoric acid solution, mixed with 350 mL methanol. Fluorescence detection at an excitation wavelength of 224 nm and an emission wavelength of 348 nm was used for quantitation. Melatonin and 5-fluorotryptamine chromatographed with retention times of 5.3 and 9.3 min, respectively. Mean recoveries of 96% (n = 10) and 95% (n = 5) were found for melatonin in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid respectively. 5-Fluorotryptamine was found to have a mean recovery of 90% (n = 10) and 82% (n = 5) in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid, respectively. The repeatability coefficients of variation for both melatonin and 5-fluorotryptamine in plasma were 4-5% [five different samples (r = 5) on two consecutive days (n = 2)], with reproducibility coefficients of 1.6-7% (n = 2, r = 5) and 0.9-4% (n = 2, r = 5) for melatonin and internal standard, respectively. In cerebrospinal fluid the repeatability coefficient of variation of the extraction procedure was 5% (n = 1, r = 5) for melatonin and 7% (n = 1, r = 5) for 5-fluorotryptamine. The correlation coefficients of the calibration curves were 0.9998 (n = 2) in plasma at a concentration range of 0.108-25.9 ng/mL and 0.9994 (n = 2) at a concentration range of 0.108-25.9 ng/mL in cerebrospinal fluid. The limit of detection was determined at 8 pg/mL which enables to measure melatonin concentrations at physiological concentrations reached during daytime. Copyright (C) 2000 John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-310
Number of pages5
JournalBiomedical Chromatography
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2000

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