Capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry-based detection of drugs and neurotransmitters in drosophila brain

Nhu T.N. Phan, Jörg Hanrieder, E. Carina Berglund, Andrew G. Ewing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Capillary electrophoresis coupled to mass spectrometry has been used to determine the in vivo concentrations of the neuroactive drug, methylphenidate, and a metabolite in the heads of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. These concentrations, evaluated at the site of action, the brain, have been correlated with orally administrated methylphenidate. D. melanogaster has a relatively simple nervous system but possesses high-order brain functions similar to humans; thus, it has been used as a common model system in biological and genetics research. Methylphenidate has been used to mediate cocaine addiction due to its lower pharmacokinetics, which results in fewer addictive and reinforcing effects than cocaine; the effects of the drug on the nervous system, however, have not been fully understood. In addition to measurements of drug concentration, the method has been used to examine drug-dose dependence on the levels of several primary biogenic amines. Higher in vivo concentration of methylphenidate is observed with increasing feeding doses up to 25 mM methylphenidate. Furthermore, administrated methylphenidate increases the drug metabolism activity and the neurotransmitter levels; however, this increase appears to saturate at a feeding dose of 20 mM. The method developed for the fruit fly provides a new tool to evaluate the concentration of administered drug at the site of action and provides information concerning the effect of methylphenidate on the nervous system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8448-8454
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 3 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry


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