Detecting the misuse of 7-oxo-DHEA by means of carbon isotope ratio mass spectrometry in doping control analysis

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Rationale The misuse of 7-oxo-DHEA (3β-hydroxyandrost-5-ene-7,17-dione) is prohibited according to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code. Nevertheless, it is easily available as a dietary supplement and from black market sources. In two recent doping control samples, significant amounts of its main metabolite 7β-OH-DHEA were identified, necessitating further investigations. Methods As both 7-oxo-DHEA and 7β-OH-DHEA are endogenously produced steroids and no concentration thresholds, applicable to routine doping controls, exist, the development and validation of a carbon isotope ratio (CIR) mass spectrometry method has been desirable. Excretion studies encompassing 7-oxo-DHEA, 7-oxo-DHEA-acetate, and in-house deuterated 7-oxo-DHEA were conducted and evaluated with regard to urinary CIR and potential new metabolites of 7-oxo-DHEA. Results Numerous urinary metabolites were identified, some of which have not been reported before while others corroborate earlier findings on the metabolism of 7-oxo-DHEA. The CIRs of both 7-oxo-DHEA and 7β-OH-DHEA were significantly influenced for more than 50 h after a single oral dose of 100 mg, and a novel metabolite (5α-androstane-3β,7β-diol-17-one) was found to prolong this detection time window by approximately 25 h. Applying the validated method to routine doping control specimens presenting atypically high urinary 7β-OH-DHEA levels clearly demonstrated the exogenous origin of 7-oxo-DHEA and 7β-OH-DHEA. Conclusion As established for other endogenously produced steroids such as testosterone, the CIR allows for a clear differentiation between endo- and exogenous sources of 7-oxo-DHEA and 7β-OH-DHEA. The novel metabolites detected after administration may help to improve the detection of 7-oxo-DHEA misuse and simplifies its detection in doping control specimens.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRapid communications in mass spectrometry : RCM
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 06.03.2020

ID: 5187596

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