Short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are the main products of dietary fibers that are not digested by the human body, and they have been shown to affect human metabolism and inflammation. The amount of SCFAs in the body is related to many human diseases, and studies have focused on elucidating their roles and target molecules in both metabolic and immune responses. Thus, the quantitation of SCFAs in biological samples becomes crucial in understanding their important roles in the human body. Herein, a facile profiling method of SCFAs using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was developed and then applied to biological samples. C2-C6 SCFAs were derivatized while using 4-acetamido-7-mercapto-2,1,3-benzoxadiazole for 5 min. at room temperature prior to LC-MS/MS analysis, and characteristic fragmentation patterns and increased hydrophobicity after chemical derivatization enabled specific discrimination among 12 SCFAs. Derivatization was fast and reliable, and the reaction products were stable for a week at 4 °C. The developed method was applied to measure SCFAs in mouse feces, plasma, and human exhaled breath condensates. This fast and simple method can save labor and effort to profile SCFAs from various biological samples.
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