Urine provides a convenient non-invasive alternative to blood sampling for measurement of certain hormones. Urinary luteinizing hormone (LH) measurements have been used for endocrinology research and anti-doping testing. However, the commercially available LH immunoassays are developed and validated for human blood samples but not urine so that LH assays intended for use with urine samples need thorough validation. Therefore, the present study evaluated the measurement of urinary LH immunoreactivity using previously validated immunofluorometric (IF) and immunochemiluminometric (ICL) LH assays after prolonged frozen storage. LH was measured in serial urine samples following administration of a single injection of one of two doses of recombinant human chorionic hormone (rhCG) with assays run at the end of study (2008) and again after four years of frozen (-20 °C) storage where samples were stored without adding preservatives. The ICL assay showed quantitatively reproducible LH measurements after prolonged -20 °C storage. However, the IF immunoassay gave consistently lower LH levels relative to ICL (2008) with a further proportionate reduction after four years of sample storage (2012). Yet, both the assays displayed similar patterns of the time-course of urine LH measurement both before and after four years of frozen storage. In conclusion, we found that both immunoassays are suitable for urinary LH measurements with ICL assay being more robust for quantitative urinary LH measurement such as for anti-doping purposes, whereas the IF could be applicable for research studies where urine LH levels are compared within-study but not in absolute terms.
In oil palm plantations, the fungicide hexaconazole is used to control Ganoderma infection that threatens to destroy or compromisethe palm. The application of hexaconazole is usually through soil drenching, trunk injection, or a combination of these two methods. It is therefore important to have a method to determine the residual amount of hexaconazole in the field such as in samples of water, soil, and leaf to monitor the use and fate of the fungicide in oil palm plantations. This study on the behaviour of hexaconazole in oil palm agro-environment was carried out at the UKM-MPOB Research Station, Bangi Lama, Selangor. Three experimental plots in this estate with 7-year-old Dura x Pisifera (DxP) palms were selected for the field trial. One plot was sprayed with hexaconazole at the manufacturer's recommended dosage, one at double the recommended dosage, and the third plot was untreated control. Hexaconazole residues in the soil, leaf, and water were determined before and after fungicide treatment. Soil samples were randomly collected from three locations at different depths (0-50 cm) and soil collected fromthe same depth were bulked together. Soil, water, and palm leaf were collected at -1 (day before treatment), 0 (day of treatment), 1, 3, 7, 14, 21, 70, 90, and 120 days after treatment. Hexaconazole was detected in soil and oil palm leaf, but was not detected in water from the nearby stream.
Veterinary and human pharmaceuticals are an emerging category of chemical pollutants with potential to cause serious toxicity to non-target organisms. Filter-feeding aquatic organisms such as mussels are especially threatened. In this study, the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis, was exposed to two doses (0.2 mg/L and 1 mg/L) of the anti-inflammatory diclofenac. Effects on the gill, the principal feeding organ of mussels, were investigated. It was noted that, while no effect was evident on gill glutathione transferase or catalase activities, there was a tissue-specific increase in glutathione reductase activity and reduction in total protein thiol groups. Two dimensional electrophoresis was performed and some affected proteins identified by in-gel tryptic digestion and peptide mass fingerprinting. Of these, four unique proteins (caspase 3/7-4, heat-shock cognate protein 70, a predicted enolase-like protein, arginine kinase) were found to be oxidized whilst eight unique proteins (β-tubulin, actin, isocitrate dehydrogenase, arginine kinase, heavy metal-binding HIP, cytosolic malate dehydrogenase, proteasome subunit alpha type 2, Mg: bb02e05 (glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase) and superoxide dismutase) were found to have altered abundance. In addition, bioinformatic analysis suggested putative identities for six hypothetical proteins which either were oxidized or decreased in abundance. These were; 78 kDa glucose-regulated protein precursor, α-enolase, calreticulin, mitochondrial H + -ATPase, palmitoyl protein thioesterase 1 and initiation factor 5a. It is concluded that diclofenac causes significant oxidative stress to gills and that this affects key structural, metabolic and stress-response proteins.
Clandestine heroin laboratories have been a feature of the Malaysian illicit drug scene since soon after the abuse of heroin emerged in 1972. The first few clandestine heroin laboratories which synthesised heroin via the acetylation of imported morphine were uncovered in 1973 and 1977. By the mid-1980s, this type of laboratory was replaced by heroin-cutting laboratories whereby imported high-grade heroin was cut to street heroin. This was to meet the rising demand for the drug owing to the rapid escalation of the number of drug users. Over the years, the most significant change in the composition of the street heroin is the decrease in its purity from 30%-50% to 3%-5%. Caffeine has remained the major adulterant and chloroquine is detected in virtually all recent seizures.
Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a psychoactive plant popular in the United States for the self-treatment of pain and opioid addiction. For standardization and quality control of raw and commercial kratom products, an ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) method was developed and validated for the quantification of ten key alkaloids, namely: corynantheidine, corynoxine, corynoxine B, 7-hydroxymitragynine, isocorynantheidine, mitragynine, mitraphylline, paynantheine, speciociliatine, and speciogynine. Chromatographic separation of diastereomers, or alkaloids sharing same ion transitions, was achieved on an Acquity BEH C18 column with a gradient elution using a mobile phase containing acetonitrile and aqueous ammonium acetate buffer (10mM, pH 3.5). The developed method was linear over a concentration range of 1-200 ng/mL for each alkaloid. The total analysis time per sample was 22.5 minutes. The analytical method was validated for accuracy, precision, robustness, and stability. After successful validation, the method was applied for the quantification of kratom alkaloids in alkaloid-rich fractions, ethanolic extracts, lyophilized teas, and commercial products. Mitragynine (0.7%-38.7% w/w), paynantheine (0.3%-12.8% w/w), speciociliatine (0.4%-12.3% w/w), and speciogynine (0.1%-5.3% w/w) were the major alkaloids in the analyzed kratom products/extracts. Minor kratom alkaloids (corynantheidine, corynoxine, corynoxine B, 7-hydroxymitragynine, isocorynantheidine) were also quantified (0.01%-2.8% w/w) in the analyzed products; however mitraphylline was below the lower limit of quantification in all analyses.