Publications by authors named "Alfredo Fabrizio Lo Faro"

16 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry assay for quantifying THC, CBD and their metabolites in hair. Application to patients treated with medical cannabis.

J Pharm Biomed Anal 2022 Aug 20;217:114841. Epub 2022 May 20.

Marche Polytechnic University, Department of Excellence of Biomedical Sciences and Public Health, Section of Legal Medicine, Unit of Forensic Toxicology, Via Tronto 10/a, 60126 Ancona, Italy. Electronic address:

Recently, several countries approved the use of cannabis flowering tops with standardized amount of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) to treat several diseases. Therapeutic monitoring of medical cannabis products administered to patients for the established pathologies is rarely carried out. Previous few investigations have been developed in conventional matrices like blood and urine. This is the first study involving hair analysis of THC, CBD and their metabolites in patients treated with medical cannabis. An ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method to quantify THC, CBD, and metabolites, i.e., 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC (THC-COOH), 11-hydroxy-THC (11-OH-THC) cannabidiol-7-oic acid (7-COOH-CBD), 7-hydroxycannabidiol (7-OH-CBD), 6-α-hydroxycannabidiol (6-α-OH-CBD) and 6-β-hydroxycannabidiol (6-β-OH-CBD) in hair samples was developed and fully validated. The validation results indicated that the method was accurate (average inter/intra-day error, <10%), precise (inter/intra-day imprecision, <10%), and fast (10 min run time). Average hair concentrations in four patients treated with different formulations of medical cannabis were 2.75 ng/mg THC, 2.87 ng/mg 11-OH-THC, and 0.32 ng/mg THC-COOH (n = 3); 1.65 ng/mg CBD, 2.73 ng/mg 7-OH-CBD, 1.29 ng/mg 7-COOH-CBD, 0.35 ng/mg 6-α-OH-CBD, and 0.03 ng/mg 6-β-OH-CBD. The proposed method proved suitable for a fast and sensitive determination of all target compounds allowing high throughput testing in individuals monitored for medical cannabis treatments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpba.2022.114841DOI Listing
August 2022

New Psychoactive Substances and receding COVID-19 pandemic: really going back to "normal"?

Acta Biomed 2022 05 11;93(2):e2022186. Epub 2022 May 11.

Department of Anatomical, Histological, Forensic and Orthopedic Sciences, "Sapienza", University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

To the Editor, The ongoing rise of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), i.e. psychotropic molecules devised and synthesized to replicate the effects of traditional drugs of abuse in order to circumvent banned substances schedules, has been posing a challenge of enormous magnitude to substance detection systems and law enforcement worldwide. Still, it would be remiss to ignore the role played by the unprecedented public health emergency relating to the COVID-19 pandemic in the exacerbation of the NPS crisis. The diversion of resources has in fact hindered conventional approaches to drug monitoring, surveillance, control, and public health responses. The dangerous path ahead in our struggle against NPS abuse is best exemplified by the rather recent emergence of isotonitazene, an analogue of a benzimidazole class of analgesic compounds, powerful synthetic opioid and full mu-opioid receptor agonist belonging to the 2-benzylbenzimidazole group of compounds, which comprises the structurally different clonitazene, metonitazene and etonitazene (1). Isonitazene has reportedly been detected on European markets in at least five different forms and could even supplant fentanyl derivatives (2). Currently available data on isonitazene-related abuse and fatalities seem to be emblematic of the volatile, elusive nature of NPS: deaths in which isotonitazene was involved in fact presented substantial differences from casualties arising from synthetic opioids abuse. Case reports have highlighted how flualprazolam was detected in most fatalities associated with isotonitazene whereas flualprazolam was involved in only 8% of other synthetic opioid overdose deaths (3). Rather than rising background use, such a finding seems to suggest likely co-use or co-distribution of flualprazolam and isotonitazene. The key element of polysubstance involvement is rife in synthetic opioid overdose deaths. That being said, significantly more substances were implicated in isotonitazene-related deaths than fatalities linked to other synthetic opioid overdose (4, 5). Such dynamics and mortality patterns further stress the urgency of expanding health services for those suffering from opioid addiction disorders. Fine-tuned and standardized detection mechanisms relying on specialized assays based on sensitive instrumentation are essential for the timely and accurate characterization of such novel synthetic opioids (6-8). Isotonitazene in fact cannot be detected by common fentanyl testing strips (9). Hence, the essential nature of clinical and toxicological cannot be overstated, if we are to effectively deal with the public health risks arising from new substances or classes, along with the healthcare and social costs thereof (10). As new substances appear on illicit markets and are detected, their distinctive traits can only be identified by user experience, in the early stages (11-13). Nonetheless, the pandemic scenario has brought about a profound alteration of substance abuse patterns, and opened up new avenues of supply and demand for which our surveillance/detection systems may not be fully prepared or well-suited. As the pandemic appears to recede and hopefully turn into an endemic context based on coexistence with the SARS-CoV-2 and its less harmful variants, it would be a mistake to take for granted that drug abuse/trafficking dynamics will also get back to where they were before the pandemic. Putting in place policies aimed at monitoring web-based platforms and social media can potentially constitute a valuable tool in terms of keeping in check emerging substances, given how during the COVID-19 pandemic many interactions between traffickers and buyers have moved online (14). After all, social media have been playing an increasingly relevant role as interacting platforms, which users and drug dealers can take advantage of in order to discuss drug prices, substance purity, distinctive traits of the "high" (i.e. desired drug effects) they are seeking, ways of taking the substances, dosages, and characteristics of any new NPS becoming available on such back-alley marketing channels (15). Softwares designed and specifically programmed to sift through and analyze all detectable online information in that regard may prove valuable to figure out evolving dynamics of trafficking, purchases and use. Probing social media users has proven effective tool for public health concerns, e.g. drug checking services which have been harnessed due to their harm reduction potential in places estimated to be at risk, with large crowds gathering (concerts, clubs and the like). Nonetheless, research efforts need to be directed towards the new realm of criminality, the "Dark Web", in which all sorts of illegal exchanges and interactions are known to take place. A 2020 study has highlighted the appalling risks for drug users who choose to pursue that option in order to buy drugs (16). Three dealers were selected on a specific "Dark Web" marketplace, and NPS were ordered through such a channel. All these exchanges were thoroughly documented, and an analysis was undertaken of all the substances thus bought, totaling nine samples, by NMR, HRMS, LC-UV, and two also by x-ray diffraction. It was ultimately concluded that four out of five substances bought had been labeled with NPS names that did not match the actual substance, and two out of three samples of substances sold as new (i.e. unscheduled) NPS were instead found to be already documented substances, mislabeled and peddled under false pretenses. Drug dealers were therefore either deceiving their clients or were unaware as to the actual substances which they were selling. In light of such extremely worrisome findings, it is not hard to understand the implications and the major public health risks that such new trends of trafficking and abuse may entail. It is therefore incumbent upon the scientific community and law enforcement agencies to adapt and strive to meet the new challenges brought by the new criminal ecosystems in terms of drug enforcement, first and foremost the impervious environment known as "Dark Web" relying on untraceable cryptocurrencies for illegal transactions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23750/abm.v93i2.13008DOI Listing
May 2022

Development and validation of a fast ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method for determining carbonic anhydrase inhibitors and their metabolites in urine and hair.

Drug Test Anal 2021 Aug 16;13(8):1552-1560. Epub 2021 Jul 16.

Department of Excellence of Biomedical Sciences and Public Health, University "Politecnica delle Marche" of Ancona, Ancona, Italy.

A new, rapid, sensitive, and comprehensive ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) method for quantifying diuretics (acetazolamide, brinzolamide, dorzolamide, and their metabolites) in human urine and hair was developed and fully validated. Twenty-five milligrams of hair were incubated with 500-μl M3® buffer reagent at 100°C for 1 h for complete digestion. After cooling, 1-μl supernatant was injected onto chromatography system. Urine samples were simply diluted before injection. The chromatographic run time was short (8 min) through a column with a mobile phase gradient. The method was linear (determination coefficients always higher than 0.99) from limit of quantification (LOQ) to 500 ng/ml in urine and from LOQ to 10 ng/mg in hair. LOQs ranged from 0.07 to 1.16 ng/ml in urine and from 0.02 to 0.15 ng/mg in hair. No significant ion suppression due to matrix effect was observed, and process efficiency was always higher than 80%. Intra- and inter-assay precision was lower than 15%. The suitability of the methods was tested with six urine and hair specimens from patients treated with acetazolamide, dorzolamide, or brinzolamide for ocular diseases or systemic hypertension. Average urine concentrations were 266.32 ng/ml for dorzolamide and 47.61 ng/ml for N-deethyl-dorzolamide (n = 3), 109.27 ng/ml for brinzolamide and 1.02 ng/ml for O-desmethyl-brinzolamide (n = 2), and finally, 12.63 ng/ml for acetazolamide. Average hair concentrations were 5.94 ng/mg for dorzolamide and 0.048 ng/mg for N-deethyl-dorzolamide (n = 3), 3.26 ng/mg for brinzolamide (n = 2), and 2.3 ng/mg for acetazolamide (n = 1). The developed method was simple and fast both in the extraction procedures making it eligible in high-throughput analysis for clinical forensic and doping purposes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dta.3055DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8456811PMC
August 2021

Toxicology and Analysis of Psychoactive Tryptamines.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Dec 4;21(23). Epub 2020 Dec 4.

Institute of Emerging Health Professions, Thomas Jefferson University, 1020 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19144, USA.

Our understanding of tryptamines is poor due to the lack of data globally. Tryptamines currently are not part of typical toxicology testing regimens and their contribution to drug overdoses may be underestimated. Although their prevalence was low, it is increasing. There are few published data on the many new compounds, their mechanisms of action, onset and duration of action, toxicity, signs and symptoms of intoxication and analytical methods to identify tryptamines and their metabolites. We review the published literature and worldwide databases to describe the newest tryptamines, their toxicology, chemical structures and reported overdose cases. Tryptamines are 5-HT receptor agonists that produce altered perceptions of reality. Currently, the most prevalent tryptamines are 5-methoxy-N,N-diisopropyltryptamine (5-MeO-DiPT), 5-methoxy-N,N- diallyltryptamine (5-MeO-DALT) and dimethyltryptamine (DMT). From 2015 to 2020, 22 new analytical methods were developed to identify/quantify tryptamines and metabolites in biological samples, primarily by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. The morbidity accompanying tryptamine intake is considerable and it is critical for clinicians and laboratorians to be informed of the latest data on this public health threat.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21239279DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7730282PMC
December 2020

Pharmacology of Herbal Sexual Enhancers: A Review of Psychiatric and Neurological Adverse Effects.

Pharmaceuticals (Basel) 2020 Oct 14;13(10). Epub 2020 Oct 14.

Unit of Forensic Toxicology, Section of Legal Medicine, Department of Excellence of Biomedical Sciences and Public Health, Marche Polytechnic University, 60126 Ancona, Italy.

Sexual enhancers increase sexual potency, sexual pleasure, or libido. Substances increasing libido alter the concentrations of specific neurotransmitters or sex hormones in the central nervous system. Interestingly, the same pathways are involved in the mechanisms underlying many psychiatric and neurological disorders, and adverse reactions associated with the use of aphrodisiacs are strongly expected. However, sexual enhancers of plant origin have gained popularity over recent years, as natural substances are often regarded as a safer alternative to modern medications and are easily acquired without prescription. We reviewed the psychiatric and neurological adverse effects associated with the consumption of herbal aphrodisiacs L., L., L., Jack., Walp., Korth., C. A. Mey, L., (K. Schum.) Pierre ex Beille, G. Forst., Benth., (L.) N. E. Brown, Willd. ex. Schult., Stapf ex Scott-Elliot, and (L.) Dunal. A literature search was conducted on the PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science databases with the aim of identifying all the relevant articles published on the issue up to June 2020. Most of the selected sexual enhancers appeared to be safe at therapeutic doses, although mild to severe adverse effects may occur in cases of overdosing or self-medication with unstandardized products. Drug interactions are more concerning, considering that herbal aphrodisiacs are likely used together with other plant extracts and/or pharmaceuticals. However, few data are available on the side effects of several plants included in this review, and more clinical studies with controlled administrations should be conducted to address this issue.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ph13100309DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7602496PMC
October 2020

Pharmacology and legal status of cannabidiol.

Ann Ist Super Sanita 2020 Jul-Sep;56(3):285-291

Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche e Sanità Pubblica, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most abundant cannabinoid present in Cannabis sativa L. It is not associated with psychotropic activity and is capable to mitigate the psychotomimetic effects produced by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The latest cannabis decriminalization policies and the high applicability in therapeutic and technologic-industrial fields, have determined an exponential marketing growth of foods, cosmetics and in particularly medicinal products containing CBD, which are easily available for consumers. Most importantly, on 2018 United States Food and Drug Administration approved CBD oral solution with the trade name of Epidiolex® for the treatment of two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, "Lennox-Gastaut syndrome" and "Dravet syndrome", in pediatric patients. The aim of this review was to focus on pharmacology and on legal status of CBD, to highlight the lack of harmonization of international regulatory laws over the marketing authorization of CBD-based products.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4415/ANN_20_03_06DOI Listing
September 2021

Medicinal Cannabis and Synthetic Cannabinoid Use.

Medicina (Kaunas) 2020 Sep 7;56(9). Epub 2020 Sep 7.

Department of Excellence of Biomedical Sciences and Public Health, "Politecnica delle Marche" University of Ancona, Via Tronto 10/a, 60126 Ancona, Italy.

Cannabis products have been used for centuries by humans for recreational and medical purposes. Resent research, proposed the promising therapeutic potential of cannabis and related cannabinoids for a wide range of medical conditions, including psychiatric and neurological diseases. This Special Issue presents the latest updates on medicinal cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids pharmacology, toxicology and new analytical methods to identify and quantify these compounds in conventional and non-conventional biological matrices. Moreover, it provides current data regarding their adverse effects, safety, application for medical purposes and their harmful effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/medicina56090453DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7558594PMC
September 2020

A 2017-2019 Update on Acute Intoxications and Fatalities from Illicit Fentanyl and Analogs.

J Anal Toxicol 2021 Jul;45(6):537-554

Department of Excellence of Biomedical Sciences and Public Health, University "Politecnica delle Marche" of Ancona, Via Tronto 71, Ancona, Italy.

The aim of this review was to report the most recent cases of acute intoxication, fatalities and "driving under the influence" cases, involving illicit fentanyl and its newest analogs. When available, information on age, sex, circumstances of exposure, intoxication symptoms, cause of death (if applicable) and toxicology results from biological fluid testing was described. Scientific publications reporting fatalities or acute intoxications involving use of fentanyl derivatives were identified from PubMed, Scopus and institutional/governmental websites from January 2017 up to December 2019. The search terms, used alone and in combination, were as follows: fentanyl, street fentanyl, analogs, compounds, derivatives, abuse, fatality, fatalities, death, toxicity, intoxication and adverse effects. When considered relevant, reports not captured by the initial search but cited in other publications were also included. Of the 2890 sources initially found, only 44 were suitable for the review. Emergent data showed that the most common analogs detected in biological samples and seized materials are acetylfentanyl, acrylfentanyl, butyrfentanyl, carfentanil, cyclopropylfentanyl, fluorofentanyl, 4-fluorobutyrfentanyl, 4-fluoroisobutyrfentanyl, furanylfentanyl, 2-methoxyacetylfentanyl, 3-methylfentanyl and ocfentanil. These compounds were frequently administered in association with other illicit substances, medicinal drugs and/or alcohol; patients and the victims often had a previous history of drug abuse. The trend of fentanyl analogs is rapidly evolving with illicit market fluctuations. Since information about potency and lethal dosage are frequently unknown, it is important to identify the new trends for further investigation on therapeutic use, toxicity and fatal doses, and implement public health measures. Recently marketed fentanyl analogs such as crotonylfentanyl and valerylfentanyl were not involved in intoxications to date, but should be carefully monitored. Many intoxications and fatalities might have gone unnoticed, and research efforts should focus on metabolite identification studies and the implementation of updated and comprehensive analytical methods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jat/bkaa115DOI Listing
July 2021

Corrigendum to "Fatal inhalation of nitrogen inside a closed environment: toxicological issues about the cause of death" [Forensic Sci. Int. 302C (2019) 109871].

Forensic Sci Int 2020 Sep 25;314:110421. Epub 2020 Jul 25.

Section of Legal Medicine, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2020.110421DOI Listing
September 2020

Gamma-hydroxybutyrate abuse: pharmacology and poisoning and withdrawal management.

Arh Hig Rada Toksikol 2020 03;71(1):19-26

Department of Anatomical, Histological, Forensic, and Orthopaedic Sciences,Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a central nervous system depressant primarily used as a recreational drug of abuse, but also for the treatment of narcolepsy with cataplexy in adult patients and as an adjuvant for control of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. The main aim of this review is to summarise updated knowledge about GHB pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, acute poisoning, and clinical features of GHB withdrawal syndrome, its diagnosis and medical treatment. The most common clinical signs and symptoms of acute poisoning include sleepiness to deep coma, bradycardia, hypotension, and respiratory failure. Therapy is essentially supportive and based on continuous monitoring of vital signs. GHB withdrawal syndrome shares patterns with other withdrawal syndromes such as alcohol withdrawal and is sometimes difficult to distinguish, especially if toxicological tests are GHB-negative or cannot be performed. There are no official detoxification protocols for GHB withdrawal syndrome, but its therapy is based on benzodiazepine. When benzodiazepine alone is not effective, it can be combined with barbiturates or antipsychotics. Information about abuse and distribution of GHB and its precursors/analogues among the general population is still limited. Their prompt identification is therefore crucial in conventional and non-conventional biological matrices, the latter in particular, to clarify all the issues around this complex molecule.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2478/aiht-2020-71-3314DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7837237PMC
March 2020

Biomedical analysis of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) of natural origin.

J Pharm Biomed Anal 2020 Feb 30;179:112945. Epub 2019 Oct 30.

Department of Excellence of Biomedical Sciences and Public Health, University "Politecnica delle Marche" of Ancona, Via Tronto 71, Ancona, Italy. Electronic address:

New psychoactive substances (NPS) can be divided into two main groups: synthetic molecules and active principles of natural origin. With respect to this latter group, a wide range of alkaloids contained in plants, mainly from Asia and South America, can be included in the class of NPS of natural origin. The majority NPS of natural origin presents stimulant and/or hallucinogenic effects (e.g. Catha edulis and Ayahuasca, respectively) while few of them show sedative and relaxing properties (e.g. kratom). Few information is available in relation to the analytical identification of psychoactive principles contained in the plant material. Moreover, to our knowledge, scarce data are present in literature, about the characterization and quantification of the parent drug in biological matrices from intoxication and fatality cases. In addition, the metabolism of natural active principles has not been yet fully investigated for most of the psychoactive substances from plant material. Consequently, their identification is not frequently performed and produced metabolites are often unknown. To fill this gap, we reviewed the currently available analytical methodologies for the identification and quantification of NPS of natural origin in plant material and, whenever possible, in conventional and non-conventional biological matrices of intoxicated and dead subjects. The psychoactive principles contained in the following plants were investigated: Areca catechu, Argyreia nervosa, Ayahuasca, Catha edulis, Ipomoea violacea, Mandragora officinarum, Mitragyna speciosa, Pausinystalia yohimbe, Piper methisticum, Psilocybe, Rivea corymbosa, Salvia divinorum, Sceletium tortuosum, Lactuca virosa. From the results obtained, it can be evidenced that although several analytical methods for the simultaneous quantification of different molecules from the same plants have been developed and validated, a comprehensive method to detect active compounds from different natural specimens both in biological and non-biological matrices is still lacking.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpba.2019.112945DOI Listing
February 2020

Biomedical analysis of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) of natural origin.

J Pharm Biomed Anal 2020 Feb 30;179:112945. Epub 2019 Oct 30.

Department of Excellence of Biomedical Sciences and Public Health, University "Politecnica delle Marche" of Ancona, Via Tronto 71, Ancona, Italy. Electronic address:

New psychoactive substances (NPS) can be divided into two main groups: synthetic molecules and active principles of natural origin. With respect to this latter group, a wide range of alkaloids contained in plants, mainly from Asia and South America, can be included in the class of NPS of natural origin. The majority NPS of natural origin presents stimulant and/or hallucinogenic effects (e.g. Catha edulis and Ayahuasca, respectively) while few of them show sedative and relaxing properties (e.g. kratom). Few information is available in relation to the analytical identification of psychoactive principles contained in the plant material. Moreover, to our knowledge, scarce data are present in literature, about the characterization and quantification of the parent drug in biological matrices from intoxication and fatality cases. In addition, the metabolism of natural active principles has not been yet fully investigated for most of the psychoactive substances from plant material. Consequently, their identification is not frequently performed and produced metabolites are often unknown. To fill this gap, we reviewed the currently available analytical methodologies for the identification and quantification of NPS of natural origin in plant material and, whenever possible, in conventional and non-conventional biological matrices of intoxicated and dead subjects. The psychoactive principles contained in the following plants were investigated: Areca catechu, Argyreia nervosa, Ayahuasca, Catha edulis, Ipomoea violacea, Mandragora officinarum, Mitragyna speciosa, Pausinystalia yohimbe, Piper methisticum, Psilocybe, Rivea corymbosa, Salvia divinorum, Sceletium tortuosum, Lactuca virosa. From the results obtained, it can be evidenced that although several analytical methods for the simultaneous quantification of different molecules from the same plants have been developed and validated, a comprehensive method to detect active compounds from different natural specimens both in biological and non-biological matrices is still lacking.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpba.2019.112945DOI Listing
February 2020

Assessment of Tryptophan, Tryptophan Ethylester, and Melatonin Derivatives in Red Wine by SPE-HPLC-FL and SPE-HPLC-MS Methods.

Foods 2019 Mar 14;8(3). Epub 2019 Mar 14.

Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences - Production, Landscape, Agroenergy, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via G. Celoria 2, 20133 Milan, Italy.

Melatonin (MEL) is an indoleamine produced mainly by the pineal gland in vertebrates. It plays a significant role in the regulation of circadian rhythms, mitigation of sleeping disorders, and jet lag. This compound is synthetized from tryptophan (TRP) and it has been found in seeds, fruits, and fermented beverages, including wine. Wine is also a source of other tryptophan derivatives, the tryptophan ethylester (TEE) and MEL isomers (MISs), for which the biological properties need to be elucidated. An analytical method for the simultaneous quantification of TRP, TEE, and MEL was developed by a Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) of a preconcentration of wine followed by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis either with fluorescence or mass spectrometer detectors. The analytical method showed a relative standard deviation (RSD) lower than 8%, except for TRP (RSD 10.5% in wine). The recovery was higher than 76%. The versatility of SPE preconcentrations allowed for the adequate preconcentration of wine sample as well as detection of low concentrations, an important aspect especially for MEL (detection limit 0.0023 µg/L). The proposed method proved to be suitable for assessing the investigated compounds in some red wine samples, where 74.4⁻256.2 µg/L and 0.038⁻0.063 µg/L of TEE and MEL were detected, respectively. Five MISs were also found in wine samples in concentrations up to 1.97 µg/L.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/foods8030099DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6463071PMC
March 2019

Development and validation of a method using ultra performance liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry for determination of zoledronic acid concentration in human bone.

J Pharm Biomed Anal 2019 Jan 20;162:286-290. Epub 2018 Sep 20.

Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Chirurgiche e Odontoiatriche, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy.

A method for the extraction and quantification of zoledronic acid (ZA) from human bone was set up and validated. This method allowed the quantification of ZA from jawbone sequestrations of patients affected by bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (BRONJ) associated with ZA treatment. The analyte was extracted from the bone tissues with phosphoric acid and derivatized using trimethylsilyl diazomethane (TMS-DAM). ZA tetramethyl phosphonate was then quantified by liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), showing high accuracy, repeatability and selectivity. Lower limits of quantification and detection (LLOQ and LLQD) were 3.4 ng/mL and 1 ng/mg, respectively. This study fully described the analytical process for the determination of ZA in human bone sequestrations, representing a pivotal step for further biomedical research on ZA and BRONJ.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpba.2018.09.042DOI Listing
January 2019

Correlation between Blood and Oral Fluid Psychoactive Drug Concentrations and Cognitive Impairment in Driving under the Influence of Drugs.

Curr Neuropharmacol 2018 ;16(1):84-96

National Centre on Addiction and Doping, Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Rome, Italy.

Background: The effects of drugs on driving performance should be checked with drug concentration in the brain and at the same time with the evaluation of both the behavioural and neurophysiological effects. The best accessible indicator of this information is the concentration of the drug and/or metabolites in blood and, to a certain extent, oral fluid. We sought to review international studies on correlation between blood and oral fluid drug concentrations, neurological correlates and cognitive impairment in driving under the influence of drugs.

Methods: Relevant scientific articles were identified from PubMed, Cochrane Central, Scopus, Web of Science, Science Direct, EMBASE up to April 2017.

Results: Up to 2010, no epidemiological studies were available on this matter and International scientists suggested that even minimal amounts of parent drugs in blood and oral fluid could affect driving impairment. More recently, epidemiological data, systematic reviews and meta-analysis on drugged drivers allowed the suggestion of impairment concentration limits for the most common illicit drugs. These values were obtained comparing driving disability induced by psychotropic drugs with that of established blood alcohol limits. Differently from ethyl alcohol where both detection methods and concentration limits have been well established even with inhomogeneity of ranges within different countries, in case of drugs of abuse no official cut-offs have yet been established, nor any standardized analytical protocols.

Conclusion: Multiple aspects of driving performance can be differently affected by illicit drugs, and even if for few of them some dose/concentration dependent impairment has been reported, a wider knowledge on concentration/impairment relationship is still missing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1570159X15666170828162057DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5771389PMC
July 2018

Anticancer Molecular Mechanisms of Resveratrol.

Front Nutr 2016 12;3. Epub 2016 Apr 12.

Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie e Ambientali, Università degli Studi di Milano , Milan , Italy.

Resveratrol is a pleiotropic phytochemical belonging to the stilbene family. Though it is only significantly present in grape products, a huge amount of preclinical studies investigated its anticancer properties in a plethora of cellular and animal models. Molecular mechanisms of resveratrol involved signaling pathways related to extracellular growth factors and receptor tyrosine kinases; formation of multiprotein complexes and cell metabolism; cell proliferation and genome instability; cytoplasmic tyrosine kinase signaling (cytokine, integrin, and developmental pathways); signal transduction by the transforming growth factor-β super-family; apoptosis and inflammation; and immune surveillance and hormone signaling. Resveratrol also showed a promising role to counteract multidrug resistance: in adjuvant therapy, associated with 5-fluoruracyl and cisplatin, resveratrol had additive and/or synergistic effects increasing the chemosensitization of cancer cells. Resveratrol, by acting on diverse mechanisms simultaneously, has been emphasized as a promising, multi-target, anticancer agent, relevant in both cancer prevention and treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2016.00008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4828556PMC
May 2016
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