Comparison of different water-miscible solvents for the preparation of plasma and urine samples in metabolic profiling studies

Muhammed Alzweiri, David G. Watson, Chris Robertson, Graeme J. Sills, John A. Parkinson

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The Lowry method and a capillary electrophoresis method were used to analyse protein residues in the supernatant after solvent deproteination of plasma. Acetonitrile and acetone were much more effective than methanol and ethanol at reducing the levels of proteins in plasma. The ability of different solvents to decrease levels of phospholipids in plasma samples was assessed using electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (MS). Phospholipid signals can obscure differences between samples in general metabolite profiling (i.e. non-target compound) studies. Acetonitrile was much more effective than methanol in reducing the MS signal due to phospholipids in plasma which is a consequence of the poor solubility of phospholipids in acetonitrile. The capability of the solvents at reducing salts in urine samples was also studied by using an amperometric method. Using this approach little difference was detected between methanol, ethanol, acetonitrile and acetone in their ability to desalt urine samples.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1060-1065
Number of pages6
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2008


  • deproteination
  • phospholipids
  • capillary electrophoresis
  • desalting
  • LC–MS
  • profiling studies
  • metabonomics

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