J Sep Sci 2015 Jul 8;38(14):2414-22. Epub 2015 Jun 8.
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, The University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX, USA.
The determination of nicotine and its major metabolites (cotinine and anabasine) in fish tissue was performed using liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry. Marine and freshwater fish were purchased from local grocery stores and were prepared based on a quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe sample preparation protocol. To determine the highly polar compounds, hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography was also used. There were modest suppressions on measured nicotine signals (10%) due to the matrix effects from marine fish but no obvious effects on freshwater fish signals. Method validation was incorporated with internal standards and carried out with matrix-matched calibration. The detection limits for nicotine, cotinine, and anabasine were 9.4, 3.0, and 1.5 ng/g in fish, respectively. Precision was quite acceptable returning less than 8% RSD at low, medium, and high concentrations. Acceptable and reproducible extraction recoveries (70-120%) of all three compounds were achieved, except for anabasine at low concentration (61%). The method was then applied to define nicotine bioaccumulation in a fathead minnow model, which resulted in rapid uptake with steady state internal tissue levels, reached within 12 h. This developed method offers a fast, easy, and sensitive way to evaluate nicotine and its metabolite residues in fish tissues.