Sunitinib LC-MS/MS assay in mouse plasma and brain tissue: Application in cns distribution studies

Rajneet K. Oberoi, Rajendar K. Mittapalli, James Fisher, William F. Elmquist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Sunitinib malate is a multi-targeted tyrosine-kinase inhibitor, currently in clinical trials for glioma. Previously developed methods for preclinical studies in species such as mice have either employed high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) or did not describe a detailed analytical method, which could be employed by other preclinical laboratories. In this paper, we have developed and validated a simple, sensitive high-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass-spectrometric method (LC-MS/MS) for the determination of sunitinib concentration in mouse plasma and brain tissue homogenate using dasatinib-free base as the internal standard. A single step liquid-liquid extraction method was used for both the matrices. Since sunitinib exhibits light-induced E/Z isomerism, all sample preparation was done in light-protected conditions. Separation was performed on a ZORBAX Eclipse XDB C18 column 4.6 × 50 mm, 1.8 μm. The mobile phase consisted of 20 mM ammonium formate (with 0.1 % formic acid): acetonitrile (70:30, v/v) pumped isocratically at a flow rate of 0.25 mL min-1 with a total run-time of 13 min. The retention times of sunitinib and dasatinib were 7.8 and 5.5 min, respectively. The calibration curve was linear over the range from 1.95 to 500 ng mL -1 in both plasma and brain tissue homogenate with 1.95 ng mL -1 as the lower limit of quantification (LLOQ) for both the matrices. Inter- and intra-day accuracy and precision was <15 % for low QC, med QC and high QC and <20 % for LLOQ. The method was applied to a pharmacokinetic study in FVB wild-type mice to determine the plasma and brain concentrations after a single oral sunitinib malate dose of 20 mg kg-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1657-1665
Number of pages9
Issue number23-24
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Angiogenesis
  • Column liquid chromatography
  • LC-MS/MS
  • Mouse plasma and brain homogenate
  • Sunitinib


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