Gas Chromatographic-Mass Spectrometric Assay of Four Indole Alkylamines of Rat Pineal

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Science  13 Oct 1972:
Vol. 178, Issue 4057, pp. 166-168
DOI: 10.1126/science.178.4057.166


Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to quantitate serotonin, N-acetylserotonin, 5-methoxytryptamine, and melatonin in single rat pineal glands. After gas chromatographic separation, the ion density of specific fragments of each indole was measured with mass spectrometry. Sensitivity of this indole assay is of the order of 10-12 to 10-13 mole. Routinely, specificity is based on gas chromatographic retention time and the recording of the ion density generated by specific fragments. Absolute identification of the extracted indoles was based on multiple ion detection.