Quantification of miltefosine in peripheral blood mononuclear cells by high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry


Phagocytes, the physiological compartment in which Leishmania parasites reside, are the main site of action of the drug miltefosine, but the intracellular pharmacokinetics of miltefosine remain unexplored. We developed a bioanalytical method to quantify miltefosine in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), expanding from an existing high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method for the quantification of miltefosine in plasma. The method introduced deuterated miltefosine as an internal standard. Miltefosine was extracted from PBMC pellets by addition of 62.5% methanol. Supernatant was collected, evaporated and reconstituted in plasma. Chromatographic separation was performed on a reversed phase C18 column and detection with a triple-quadrupole mass spectrometer. Miltefosine was quantified using plasma calibration standards ranging from 4 to 1000ng/mL. This method was validated with respect to its PBMC matrix effect, selectivity, recovery and stability. No matrix effect could be observed from the PBMC content (ranging from 0.17 to 26.3*10(6)PBMCs) reconstituted in plasma, as quality control samples were within 3.0% of the nominal concentration (precision less than 7.7%). At the lower limit of quantitation of 4 ng/mL plasma, corresponding to 0.12ng/10(6) PBMCs in a typical clinical sample, measured concentrations were within 8.6% of the nominal value. Recovery showed to be reproducible as adding additional pre-treatment steps did not increase the recovery with more than 9%. This method was successfully applied to measure intracellular miltefosine concentrations in PBMC samples from six cutaneous leishmaniasis patients up to one month post-treatment.

Journal of Chromatography. B, Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences