Original Article
Copyright ©2012 Baishideng. All rights reserved.
World J Methodol. Oct 26, 2012; 2(5): 33-41
Published online Oct 26, 2012. doi: 10.5662/wjm.v2.i5.33
LC-MS/MS analysis of 2-aminothiazoline-4-carboxylic acid as a forensic biomarker for cyanide poisoning
Jorn CC Yu, Sarah Martin, Jessica Nasr, Katelyn Stafford, David Thompson, Ilona Petrikovics
Jorn CC Yu, Sarah Martin, Department of Forensic Science, College of Criminal Justice, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX 77341, United States
Jessica Nasr, Katelyn Stafford, David Thompson, Ilona Petrikovics, Department of Chemistry, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX 77341, United States
Author contributions: Martin S, Nasr J and Stafford K performed the majority of experiments; Thompson D was involved in editing the manuscript and in scientific discussions; Yu JCC and Petrikovics I designed the study and wrote the manuscript.
Supported by NIH: NIAID/USAMRICD Interagency Agreements (W911NF-07-D-0001) and the USAMRICD under the auspices of the US Army Research Office Scientific Services Program administered by Battelle (Delivery order 0557, Contract No TCN 08284), and the Robert A. Welch Foundation at Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX, United States
Correspondence to: Ilona Petrikovics, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX 77341, United States. ixp004@shsu.edu
Telephone: +1-936-2944389 Fax: +1-936-2944996
Received: February 4, 2012
Revised: August 10, 2012
Accepted: September 6, 2012
Published online: October 26, 2012

AIM: To demonstrate the potential of using 2-aminothiazoline-4-carboxylic acid (ATCA) as a novel biomarker/forensic biomarker for cyanide poisoning.

METHODS: A sensitive method was developed and employed for the identification and quantification of ATCA in biological samples, where the sample extraction and clean up were achieved by solid phase extraction (SPE). After optimization of SPE procedures, ATCA was analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. ATCA levels following the administration of different doses of potassium cyanide (KCN) to mice were measured and compared to endogenous ATCA levels in order to study the significance of using ATCA as a biomarker for cyanide poisoning.

RESULTS: A custom made analytical method was established for a new (mice) model when animals were exposed to increasing KCN doses. The application of this method provided important new information on ATCA as a potential cyanide biomarker. ATCA concentration in mice plasma samples were increased from 189 ± 28 ng/mL (n = 3) to 413 ± 66 ng/mL (n = 3) following a 10 mg/kg body weight dose of KCN introduced subcutaneously. The sensitivity of this analytical method proved to be a tool for measuring endogenous level of ATCA in mice organs as follows: 1.2 ± 0.1 μg/g for kidney samples, 1.6 ± 0.1 μg/g for brain samples, 1.8 ± 0.2 μg/g for lung samples, 2.9 ± 0.1 μg/g for heart samples, and 3.6 ± 0.9 μg/g for liver samples.

CONCLUSION: This finding suggests that ATCA has the potential to serve as a plasma biomarker / forensic biomarker for cyanide poisoning.

Keywords: Forensic science, Biomarker, Cyanide poisoning, 2-aminothiazoline-4-carboxylic acid, LC-MS/MS