Assessing human urinary clomiphene metabolites after consumption of eggs from clomiphene-treated laying hens using chromatographic-mass spectrometric approaches

Luisa Euler, Nathalie Gillard, Philippe Delahaut, Gilles Pierret, Thomas Mürdter, Matthias Schwab, Georg Döhmen, Andreas Thomas, Mario Thevis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Publication: Contribution to journalJournal articlesResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The anti-estrogen clomiphene is prohibited in sports at all times. Yet, adverse analytical findings (AAFs) have increased since 2011. This is possibly due to improved analytical sensitivity, but also contamination of food of animal origin needs to be taken into consideration as a potential source of drug exposure. For instance, studies with laying hens that received orally administered clomiphene have shown a significantly increased egg production rate but, as a consequence, eggs were found to incorporate residues of clomiphene. In order to evaluate if the consumption of clomiphene-contaminated eggs can cause an AAF of a doping control sample, eggs obtained from an animal administration study with clomiphene were consumed by human volunteers. Each volunteer ate two eggs, and urine samples were collected and analyzed using routine doping control procedures. Subsequently, additional volunteers received a microdosed clomiphene capsule to compare the excretion profiles. Maximum urinary concentrations of hydroxy-clomiphene (HC) between 80 and 300 pg mL-1 were detected following the consumption of clomiphene-containing eggs, which would constitute AAFs if observed in athletes’ doping control samples. In order to support the differentiation of potential routes of drug exposure, a method was developed which allows for the chromatographic separation of (E)-3-, (Z)-3-, (E)-4-, and (Z)-4-HC using a derivatization step. By comparing the peak areas of these metabolites, characteristic relative distribution patterns were found that assist in identifying AAFs resulting from clomiphene ingested via contaminated eggs and, thus, enable to distinguish clomiphene intake via contaminated eggs from the intake of microdoses or therapeutic dosages, e.g. for doping purposes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number339661
JournalANALYTICA CHIMICA ACTA
Volume1202
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
ISSN0003-2670
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15.04.2022

Research areas and keywords

  • HPLC-MS/MS
  • SERMs
  • Clomiphene
  • Doping
  • Eggs
  • Residues

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