Analysis of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone in mouse tissues by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry

Yan Weng, Fang Xie, Li Xu, Dmitri Zagorevski, David C. Spink, Xinxin Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


A novel method was established for simultaneous quantitation of testosterone (T) and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in murine tissue and serum samples. Endogenous T and DHT, together with the internal standards 17α-methyl-T and 17α-methyl-DHT, were extracted from tissues and then derivatized by reaction with 2-hydrazino-4-(trifluoromethyl)-pyrimidine (HTP). Analysis by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS) resulted in product ion spectra of HTP derivatives of both T and DHT that showed analyte-specific fragmentations; the latter fragmentations were characterized by the use of high-resolution Orbitrap MS/MS. These specific fragmentations enabled quantitation of T and DHT in the multiple-reaction monitoring (MRM) mode. The method was validated with charcoal-stripped serum as the matrix. The lower limit of quantitation (LLOQ) was 0.10. ng/ml for T and 0.50. ng/ml for DHT. The method was then used for determination of serum and tissue levels of T and DHT in transgenic mice carrying a hypomorphic NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase gene (Cpr-low mice). Remarkably, ovarian T levels in Cpr-low mice were found to be 25-fold higher than those in wild-type mice, a finding that at least partly explains the female infertility seen in the Cpr-low mice. In conclusion, our method provides excellent sensitivity and selectivity for determination of endogenous levels of T and DHT in mouse tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-128
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical Biochemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2010



  • Cytochrome P450
  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • LC-MS
  • Metabolism
  • Mice
  • Steroids
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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