Two mass-spectrometric techniques for quantifying serine enantiomers and glycine in cerebrospinal fluid: Potential confounders and age-dependent ranges

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BACKGROUND: The recent discovery and specific functions of D-amino acids in humans are bound to lead to the revelation of D-amino acid abnormalities in human disorders. Therefore, high-throughput analysis techniques are warranted to determine D-amino acids in biological fluids in a routine laboratory setting. METHODS: We developed 2 chromatographic techniques, a nonchiral derivatization with chiral (chirasil-L-val column) separation in a GC-MS system and a chiral derivatization with Marfey's reagent and LC-MS analysis. We validated the techniques for D-serine, L-serine, and glycine determination in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), evaluated several confounders, and determined age-dependent human concentration ranges. RESULTS: Quantification limits for D-serine, L-serine, and glycine in cerebrospinal fluid were 0.14, 0.44, and 0.14 μmol/L, respectively, for GC-MS and 0.20, 0.41, and 0.14 μmol/L for LC-MS. Within-run imprecision was <3% for both methods, and between-run imprecision was <13%. Comparison of both techniques with Deming regression yielded coefficients of 0.90 (Dserine), 0.92 (L-serine), and 0.96 (glycine). Sample collection, handling, and transport is uncomplicated - there is no rostrocaudal CSF gradient, no effect of storage at 4 °C for 1 week before storage at -80 °C, and no effect of up to 3 freeze/thaw cycles. Conversely, contamination with erythrocytes increased D-serine, L-serine, and glycine concentrations. CSF concentrations for 145 apparently healthy controls demonstrated markedly and specifically increased (5 to 9 times) D-serine concentrations during early central nervous system development. CONCLUSIONS: These 2 clinically applicable analysis techniques will help to unravel pathophysiologic, diagnostic, and therapeutic issues for disorders associated with central nervous system abnormalities, NMDA-receptor dysfunction, and other pathology associated with D-amino acids.


  • Sabine A. Fuchs
  • Monique G.M. De Sain-van Der Velden
  • Martina M.J. De Barse
  • Martin W. Roeleveld
  • Margriet Hendriks
  • Lambertus Dorland
  • Leo W.J. Klomp
  • Ruud Berger
  • Tom J. De Koning
Externa organisationer
  • University Medical Center Utrecht
Sidor (från-till)1443-1450
TidskriftClinical Chemistry
Utgåva nummer9
StatusPublished - 2008 aug 9
Peer review utfördJa
Externt publiceradJa