Integrated analytical approach in veal calves administered the anabolic androgenic steroids boldenone and boldione: urine and plasma kinetic profile and changes in plasma protein expression.

Research paper by Rosa R Draisci, Clara C Montesissa, Barbara B Santamaria, Chiara C D'Ambrosio, Giovanni G Ferretti, Roberta R Merlanti, Carolina C Ferranti, Marco M De Liguoro, Claudia C Cartoni, Erika E Pistarino, Lino L Ferrara, Micaela M Tiso, Andrea A Scaloni, M Elisabetta ME Cosulich

Indexed on: 07 Aug '07Published on: 07 Aug '07Published in: PROTEOMICS


Surveillance of illegal use of steroids hormones in cattle breeding is a key issue to preserve human health. To this purpose, an integrated approach has been developed for the analysis of plasma and urine from calves treated orally with a single dose of a combination of the androgenic steroids boldenone and boldione. A quantitative estimation of steroid hormones was obtained by LC-APCI-Q-MS/MS analysis of plasma and urine samples obtained at various times up to 36 and 24 h after treatment, respectively. These experiments demonstrated that boldione was never found, while boldenone alpha- and beta-epimers were detected in plasma and urine only within 2 and 24 h after drug administration, respectively. Parallel proteomic analysis of plasma samples was obtained by combined 2-DE, MALDI-TOF-MS and muLC-ESI-IT-MS/MS procedures. A specific protein, poorly represented in normal plasma samples collected before treatment, was found upregulated even 36 h after hormone treatment. Extensive mass mapping experiments proved this component as an N-terminal truncated form of apolipoprotein A1 (ApoA1), a protein involved in cholesterol transport. The expression profile of ApoA1 analysed by Western blot analysis confirmed a significant and time dependent increase of this ApoA1 fragment. Then, provided that further experiments performed with a growth-promoting schedule will confirm these preliminary findings, truncated ApoA1 may be proposed as a candidate biomarker for steroid boldenone and possibly other anabolic androgens misuse in cattle veal calves, when no traces of hormones are detectable in plasma or urine.