A new approach to the search for residues of known and unknown estrogens in calf urine is presented. Following enzymatic deconjugation and solid-phase extraction, a minor part of the samples is screened for estrogen activity using a recently developed rapid reporter gene bioassay. The remainder of the bioactive extracts is analyzed by gradient liquid chromatography (LC) with, in parallel, bioactivity and mass spectrometric detection via effluent splitting toward a 96-well fraction collector and an electrospray quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer (QTOFMS). The LC fractions in the 96-well plate are used for the detection of estrogen activity using the bioassay. The biogram obtained features a 20-s time resolution, and the suspect well numbers can be easily correlated with the LC/QTOFMS retention time. The mass spectral data from the thus assigned relevant parts of the chromatograms are background subtracted, followed by accurate mass measurement, element composition calculation, and identification. The method allows estrogen activity detection and identification of (un)known estrogens in urine at the 1-2 ng/L level, in compliance with current residue analysis performance for hormone abuse in cattle. The applicability of this LC/bioassay/QTOFMS approach for the identification of estrogens in real-life samples is demonstrated by the analysis of several calf urine samples, and preliminary data from a pig feed sample.
- green fluorescent protein
- (geno)toxicity detection
- bovine urine
Nielen, M. W. F., van Bennekom, E. O., Heskamp, H. H., van Rhijn, J. A., Bovee, T. F. H., & Hoogenboom, L. A. P. (2004). Bioassay-directed identification of estrogen residues in urine by liquid chromatography electrospray quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Analytical Chemistry, 76(22), 6600-6608. https://doi.org/10.1021/ac0490705