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Investigation of the Metabolism of Ergot Alkaloids in Cell Culture by Fourier Transformation Mass Spectrometry

Mulac, Dennis, Grote, Anna-Karina, Kleigrewe, Karin, Humpf, Hans-Ulrich
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2011 v.59 no.14 pp. 7798-7807
Claviceps purpurea, cell culture, colon, ergot alkaloids, fluorescence, fungi, grains, high performance liquid chromatography, humans, kidney cells, liver, mass spectrometry, metabolism, rye products, secondary metabolites, toxicity
Ergot alkaloids are known toxic secondary metabolites of the fungus Claviceps purpurea occurring in various grains, especially rye products. The liver is responsible for converting the ergot alkaloids into metabolites; however, the toxic impact of these end products of metabolism is still unknown. The aim of this study was to analyze the metabolism of ergot alkaloids in colon and liver cell lines (HT-29, HepG2), as well as in human primary renal cells (RPTEC). It was shown that cells in vitro are able to metabolize ergot alkaloids, forming a variety of metabolic compounds. Significant differences between the used cell types could be identified, and a suitable model system was established using HT-29 cells, performing an intensive metabolism to hydroxylated metabolites. The formed substances were analyzed by coupling of high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection and Fourier transformation mass spectrometry (HPLC-FLD-FTMS) as a powerful tool to identify known and unknown metabolites.