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      An inter-laboratory comparison of urinary 3-hydroxypropylmercapturic acid measurement demonstrates good reproducibility between laboratories

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          Biomarkers have been used extensively in clinical studies to assess toxicant exposure in smokers and non-smokers and have recently been used in the evaluation of novel tobacco products. The urinary metabolite 3-HPMA, a metabolite of the major tobacco smoke toxicity contributor acrolein, is one example of a biomarker used to measure exposure to tobacco smoke. A number of laboratories have developed liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) based methods to measure urinary 3-HPMA; however, it is unclear to what extent the data obtained by these different laboratories are comparable.


          This report describes an inter-laboratory comparison carried out to evaluate the comparability of 3-HPMA measurement between four laboratories. A common set of spiked and authentic smoker and non-smoker urine samples were used. Each laboratory used their in-house LC-MS/MS method and a common internal standard. A comparison of the repeatability ('r'), reproducibility ('R'), and coefficient of variation for 3-HPMA demonstrated that within-laboratory variation was consistently lower than between-laboratory variation. The average inter-laboratory coefficient of variation was 7% for fortified urine samples and 16.2% for authentic urine samples. Together, this represents an inter-laboratory variation of 12.2%.


          The results from this first inter-laboratory comparison for the measurement of 3-HPMA in urine demonstrate a reasonably good consensus between laboratories. However, some consistent measurement biases were still observed between laboratories, suggesting that additional work may be required to further reduce the inter-laboratory coefficient of variation.

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          Most cited references 7

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          Acrolein: sources, metabolism, and biomolecular interactions relevant to human health and disease.

          Acrolein (2-propenal) is ubiquitously present in (cooked) foods and in the environment. It is formed from carbohydrates, vegetable oils and animal fats, amino acids during heating of foods, and by combustion of petroleum fuels and biodiesel. Chemical reactions responsible for release of acrolein include heat-induced dehydration of glycerol, retro-aldol cleavage of dehydrated carbohydrates, lipid peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids, and Strecker degradation of methionine and threonine. Smoking of tobacco products equals or exceeds the total human exposure to acrolein from all other sources. The main endogenous sources of acrolein are myeloperoxidase-mediated degradation of threonine and amine oxidase-mediated degradation of spermine and spermidine, which may constitute a significant source of acrolein in situations of oxidative stress and inflammation. Acrolein is metabolized by conjugation with glutathione and excreted in the urine as mercapturic acid metabolites. Acrolein forms Michael adducts with ascorbic acid in vitro, but the biological relevance of this reaction is not clear. The biological effects of acrolein are a consequence of its reactivity towards biological nucleophiles such as guanine in DNA and cysteine, lysine, histidine, and arginine residues in critical regions of nuclear factors, proteases, and other proteins. Acrolein adduction disrupts the function of these biomacromolecules which may result in mutations, altered gene transcription, and modulation of apoptosis.
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            Quantitation of acrolein-derived (3-hydroxypropyl)mercapturic acid in human urine by liquid chromatography-atmospheric pressure chemical ionization tandem mass spectrometry: effects of cigarette smoking.

            Recently published data suggest that acrolein (1), a toxic but weakly carcinogenic constituent of cigarette smoke, may be involved as a causative factor for the mutations frequently observed in the p53 tumor suppressor gene in lung cancer in smokers. Biomarkers are needed to further assess the possible relationship between acrolein uptake and cancer. In this study, we analyzed (3-hydroxypropyl)mercapturic acid (3-HPMA, 2) in human urine. 3-HPMA is a major metabolite of acrolein in laboratory animals. The method employs [13C3]3-HPMA as an internal standard, with analysis and quantitation by LC-APCI-MS/MS-SRM. Clean, readily quantifiable chromatograms were obtained. The method was accurate and precise and required only 0.1 mL of urine. Median levels of 3-HPMA were significantly higher (2900 pmol/mg of creatinine, N=35) in smokers than in nonsmokers (683 pmol/mg of creatinine, N=21) (P=0.0002). The effect of smoking was further assessed by determining the levels of 3-HPMA before and after a 4 week smoking cessation period. There was a significant 78% decrease in median levels of urinary 3-HPMA after cessation (P<0.0001). The relationship between the levels of urinary 3-HPMA and those of acrolein-derived 1,N2-propanodeoxyguanosine (PdG) adducts in lung was investigated in 14 smokers. There was a significant inverse relationship between urinary 3-HPMA and alpha-hydroxy-PdG (3) but not gamma-hydroxy-PdG (4) or total adduct levels. The results of this study clearly demonstrate that acrolein uptake in smokers is significantly higher than in nonsmokers and underline the need for further investigation of the possible relationship of acrolein uptake to lung cancer.
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              Relationship between machine-derived smoke yields and biomarkers in cigarette smokers in Germany.

              In order to determine whether smokers of cigarettes in the contemporary yield ranges of the German market (0.1-1.0mg nicotine, 1-10mg tar) differ in their actual exposure to various smoke constituents, we performed a field study with 274 smokers and 100 non-smokers. The following biomarkers were determined: In 24-h urine: Nicotine equivalents (molar sum of nicotine, cotinine, trans-3'-hydroxycotinine and their respective glucuronides), 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL, metabolite of the tobacco-specific nitrosamine 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone, NNK), 3-hydroxypropylmercapturic acid (metabolite of acrolein), trans,trans-muconic acid, S-phenylmercapturic acid (metabolites of benzene), 1-hydroxypyrene (metabolite of pyrene); in saliva: Cotinine and trans-3'-hydroxycotinine; in exhaled air: Carbon monoxide; in blood: Methyl-, hydroxyethyl-, cyanoethyl- (biomarker of acrylonitrile) and carbamoylethylvaline (biomarker of acrylamide) hemoglobin adducts. All biomarkers were found to be significantly higher in smokers compared to non-smokers and showed strong correlations with the daily cigarette consumption. Biomarker levels and per cigarette increases in smokers were at most weakly related to the machine-derived smoke yields. It is concluded that machine-derived yields of cigarettes from the contemporary German cigarette market have little or no impact on the actual smoking-related exposure determined by suitable biomarkers.

                Author and article information

                BMC Res Notes
                BMC Research Notes
                BioMed Central
                10 October 2011
                : 4
                : 391
                [1 ]British American Tobacco, Group Research and Development, Regents Park Road, Southampton, SO15 8TL, UK
                [2 ]Analytisch-Biologisches Forschungslabor GmbH, Goethestrasse 20, 80336 Muenchen, Germany
                [3 ]Celerion, 621 Rose Street, Lincoln, NE 68502, USA
                [4 ]Labstat International Inc., 262 Manitou Drive, Kitchener, Ontario N2C 1L3, Canada
                [5 ]Covance Laboratories Ltd, Otley Road, Harrogate, HG3 1PY, UK
                Copyright ©2011 Minet et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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