Simultaneous measurement of 13 CAnd 15 N-isotopic enrichments of threonine by mass spectrometry

Jean Philippe Godin, Anne France Mermoud, Didier Rémond, Magali Fayre, Denis Breuille, Gary Williamson, Emma Peré-Trepat, Ziad Ramadan, Lay Rent Bernard Fay, Synil Kochhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Under conditions of high isotopic dilution, e.g. in a tracer study, the ability to determine accurately and quantitatively small variations in isotopic enrichments of differently labelled chemical compounds (e.g. 13C and 15N in threonine) in a single run by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) is desirable but remains a technological challenge. Here, we report a new, rapid and simple GO MS method for simultaneously measuring the isotopic enrichments of doubly labelled threonine ([U13C] and 15N) with isotopic enrichment lower than 1.5 Molar Percent Excess (MPE). The long-term reproducibility measured was around 0.09 MPE for both tracers (throughout a 6 week period). The intra-day repeatability was lower than 0.05 and 0.06 MPE for [U13C]-Thr and 15N-Thr, respectively. To calculate both isotopic enrichments, two modes of calculations were used: one based on work by Rosenblatt et at in 1992 and the other one using a matrix approach. Both methods gave similar results (ANOVA, P >0.05) with close precision for each mode of calculation. The GC/MS method was then used to investigate the differential utilization of threonine in different organs according to its route of administration in minipigs after administration of both tracers. In plasma samples, the lowest isotopic enrichment measured between two successive time points was at 0.01 and 0.02 MPE for [U13C]-Thr and 15N-Thr, respectively. Moreover, the accuracy of GC/MS 13C-isotopic enrichment measured was validated by analyzing the same plasma samples by gas ehromatography/combustion/isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC/C/IRMS). Statistical analysis showed that both techniques gave the same results (ANOVA, P >0.05). This new GC/MS method offers the possibility to measure 13Cand 15N-isotopic enrichments with higher throughput, and using a lower amount of sample, than using GC/C/IRMS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1109-1115
Number of pages7
JournalRapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes

Cite this