Testing for betel nut alkaloids in hair of Papuans abusers using UPLC-MS/MS and UPLC-Q-Tof-MS

Gheddar, Laurie, Ricaut, François Xavier, Ameline, Alice, Brucato, Nicolas, Tsang, Roxanne, Leavesley, Matthew, Raul, Jean Sébastien, and Kintz, Pascal (2020) Testing for betel nut alkaloids in hair of Papuans abusers using UPLC-MS/MS and UPLC-Q-Tof-MS. Journal of Analytical Toxicology, 44 (1). pp. 41-48.

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Betel nut is the fruit of Areca palm, growing in Papua New Guinea. Mixed with limestone and stick mustard, arecoline and guvacoline, which are present in betel nut, are hydrolyzed into arecaidine and guvacine, respectively. As part of the study on dietary habits of Papuans residents, our laboratory was asked to analyze the four alkaloids in hair to document long-term exposure. Hair samples were collected from 19 adult subjects (males = 11; females = 8), by some of the authors, and were sent to the laboratory for analysis. The four alkaloids have very similar chemical structures. In order to accurately identify the drugs, two methods were developed. First, the compounds were identified using an ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography system coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Then, they were quantified by an ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography system coupled to tandem mass spectrometry. After decontamination with dichloromethane, hair samples were cut into very small segments and 20 mg were incubated in methanol for 2 h 30 min in an ultrasound bath. After cooling, the methanol was evaporated to dryness in presence of 20-μL octanol to prevent volatilization. Nicotine-d4 was used as an internal standard. Linearity was observed for concentrations ranging from the limit of quantification to 20 ng/mg for arecoline, arecaidine, guvacine and guvacoline. Measured concentrations were in the range 60 pg/mg to 18 ng/mg for arecoline (n = 19), 14 pg/mg to 2.5 ng/mg for guvacoline (n = 11), 63 pg/mg to 3.8 ng/mg for arecaidine (n = 11) and 100 pg/mg to 3.2 ng/mg for guvacine (n = 6). There was no correlation between concentrations of arecoline and arecaidine (ratio from 0.01 to 0.18) and guvacoline and guvacine (ratio from 0.06 to 3.50). However, the identification of these substances in hair is a good marker of consumption of betel nut and allows us to document a local practice that remains difficult to evaluate just by questioning.

Item ID: 67264
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1945-2403
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
Date Deposited: 04 May 2021 00:42
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3214 Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences > 321407 Toxicology (incl. clinical toxicology) @ 70%
45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4513 Pacific Peoples culture, language and history > 451305 Pacific Peoples culture @ 30%
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