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Article

Towards Extending the Detection Window of Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid—An Untargeted Metabolomics Study in Serum and Urine Following Controlled Administration in Healthy Men

1
Department of Forensic Pharmacology & Toxicology, Zurich Institute of Forensic Medicine, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
2
Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Psychiatric Hospital, University of Zurich, 8032 Zurich, Switzerland
3
Neuroscience Center Zurich, University of Zurich and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
4
Zurich Center for Interdisciplinary Sleep Research (ZiS), University of Zurich, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Cornelius Hess
Metabolites 2021, 11(3), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11030166
Received: 15 February 2021 / Revised: 8 March 2021 / Accepted: 10 March 2021 / Published: 12 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolite Analysis in Forensic Toxicology)
In forensic toxicology, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) still represents one of the most challenging drugs of abuse in terms of analytical detection and interpretation. Given its rapid elimination, the detection window of GHB in common matrices is short (maximum 12 h in urine). Additionally, the differentiation from naturally occurring endogenous GHB, is challenging. Thus, novel biomarkers to extend the detection window of GHB are urgently needed. The present study aimed at searching new potential biomarkers of GHB use by means of mass spectrometry (MS) metabolomic profiling in serum (up to 16.5 h) and urine samples (up to 8 h after intake) collected during a placebo-controlled crossover study in healthy men. MS data acquired by different analytical methods (reversed phase and hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography; positive and negative electrospray ionization each) were filtered for significantly changed features applying univariate and mixed-effect model statistics. Complementary to a former study, conjugates of GHB with glycine, glutamate, taurine, carnitine and pentose (ribose) were identified in urine, with particularly GHB-pentose being promising for longer detection. None of the conjugates were detectable in serum. Therein, mainly energy metabolic substrates were identified, which may be useful for more detailed interpretation of underlying pathways but are too unspecific as biomarkers. View Full-Text
Keywords: GHB; untargeted metabolomics profiling; urine; serum; placebo-controlled GHB; untargeted metabolomics profiling; urine; serum; placebo-controlled
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MDPI and ACS Style

Steuer, A.E.; Raeber, J.; Simbuerger, F.; Dornbierer, D.A.; Bosch, O.G.; Quednow, B.B.; Seifritz, E.; Kraemer, T. Towards Extending the Detection Window of Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid—An Untargeted Metabolomics Study in Serum and Urine Following Controlled Administration in Healthy Men. Metabolites 2021, 11, 166. https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11030166

AMA Style

Steuer AE, Raeber J, Simbuerger F, Dornbierer DA, Bosch OG, Quednow BB, Seifritz E, Kraemer T. Towards Extending the Detection Window of Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid—An Untargeted Metabolomics Study in Serum and Urine Following Controlled Administration in Healthy Men. Metabolites. 2021; 11(3):166. https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11030166

Chicago/Turabian Style

Steuer, Andrea E.; Raeber, Justine; Simbuerger, Fabio; Dornbierer, Dario A.; Bosch, Oliver G.; Quednow, Boris B.; Seifritz, Erich; Kraemer, Thomas. 2021. "Towards Extending the Detection Window of Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid—An Untargeted Metabolomics Study in Serum and Urine Following Controlled Administration in Healthy Men" Metabolites 11, no. 3: 166. https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11030166

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