Anal Chim Acta 2007 Sep 3;599(1):1-6. Epub 2007 Aug 3.
Scientific & Technical Services, University of Barcelona, Spain.
The quantitative evaluation of long-chain acylcarnitines in lipid extracts from cultured cells or tissues is a prerequisite to study carnitine palmitoyltransferase (CPT) activity. There is thus a need for the accurate measurement of the concentration of long-chain acylcarnitines at the lowest concentration present in lipid extracts. Here we report a fast and reliable quantitative method based on the use of weak acid extraction and liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS) to quantify acylcarnitines through hydrophilic interaction chromatography. The method was validated using isotopic dilution and the results allow the analysis of a large number of samples at low concentration levels (down to 0.35 nmol L(-1) for palmitoylcarnitine) with good inter- and intra-day precision. The method was used for the quantitative study of changes in concentration of palmitoylcarnitine and other acylcarnitines in PC-12 cells over-expressing CPT1a gene. It was also used to measure CPT1 activity in mitochondria isolated from transfected cells, giving similar results to the more common radiometric method, but with higher sensitivity.