An lc‐ms/ms method for analysis of vitamin d metabolites and c3 epimers in mice serum: Oral supplementation compared to uv irradiation

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Introduction: The most common forms of vitamin D in human and mouse serum are vitamin D3 and vitamin D2 and their metabolites. The aim of this study is to determine whether diet and sunlight directly affect the circulating concentrations of vitamin D metabolites in a mouse model. We investigated the serum concentrations of eight vitamin D metabolites—vitamin D (vita-min D3 + vitamin D2), 25OHD (25OHD3 + 25OHD2), 1α25(OH)2D (1α25(OH)2D2, and 1α25(OH)2D3)—including their epimer, 3‐epi‐25OHD (3‐epi‐25OHD3 and 3‐epi‐25OHD2), and a bile acid precursor 7alpha‐hydroxy‐4‐cholesten‐3‐one (7αC4), which is known to cause interference in liquid chromatography‐tandem mass spectrometry (LC‐MS/MS) analysis. Method: The LC‐ MS/MS method was validated according to FDA‐US guidelines. The validated method was used for the analysis of mouse serum samples. Forty blood samples from mice were collected and divided into three groups. The first group, the DDD mice, were fed a vitamin D‐deficient diet (25 IU VD3/kg of diet) and kept in the dark; the second group, the SDD mice, were maintained on a standard-vitamin D diet (1000 IU VD3) and kept in the dark; and the third group, SDL, were fed a standard-vitamin D diet (1000 IU VD3) but kept on a normal light/dark cycle. LC‐MS/MS was used for the efficient separation and quantitation of all the analytes. Results: The validated method showed good linearity and specificity. The intraday and interday precision were both <16%, and the accuracy across the assay range was within 100 ± 15%. The recoveries ranged between 75 and 95%. The stability results showed that vitamin D metabolites are not very stable when exposed to continuous freeze–thaw cycles; the variations in concentrations of vitamin D metabolites ranged between 15 and 60%. The overlapping peaks of vitamin D, its epimers, and its isobar (7αC4) were resolved using chromatographic separation. There were significant differences in the concentrations of all metabolites of vitamin D between the DDD and SDL mice. Between the groups SDD (control) and SDL, a significant difference in the concentrations of 3‐epi‐25OHD was noted, where C3 epimer was about 30% higher in SDL group while no significant differences were noted in the concentrations of vitamin D, 25OHD, 1α25(OH)2D, and 7αC4 between SDD and SDL group. Conclusions: A validated method, combined with a simple extraction technique, for the sensitive LC‐MS/MS determination of vitamin D metabolites is described here. The method can eliminate the interferences in LC‐ MS/MS analysis caused by the overlapping epimer and isobar due to them having the same molecular weights as 25OHD. The validated method was applied to mouse serum samples. It was con-cluded that a standard‐vitamin D diet causes an increase in the proportion of all the vitamin D metabolites and C3 epimers and isobar, while UV light has no pronounced effect on the concentrations of the majority of the vitamin D metabolites except 3‐epi‐25OHD. Further studies are required to confirm this observation in humans and to investigate the biochemical pathways related to vitamin D’s metabolites and their epimers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5182
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2021


  • 25OHD
  • C3 epimer
  • LC‐MS/MS
  • Mice serum
  • Oral supplementation
  • Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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