Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 32(8), 831 (2016).

Differentiation of the Isomers of N-Alkylated Cathinones by GC-EI-MS-MS and LC-PDA
Erina KOHYAMA,* Takao CHIKUMOTO,* Hiroyuki TADA,* Kiyoyuki KITAICHI,** Tadashi HORIUCHI,* and Tetsuro ITO*,**
*Gifu Prefectural Research Institute for Health and Environmental Sciences, Naka-fudogaoka, Kakamigahara, Gifu 504-0838, Japan
**Gifu Pharmaceutical University, 1-25-4 Daigaku-nishi, Gifu 501-1196, Japan
Synthetic compounds structurally derived from the mild stimulant 2-amino-1-phenyl-1-propanone, known as cathinone derivatives, are one of the largest growing class of synthetic designer drugs. The characterization of these drugs is complicated by the structural diversity and similarity of compounds in the ever-growing cathinone family. This paper demonstrates the successful application of gas chromatography–electron ionization–tandem mass spectrometry (GC-EI-MS-MS) and liquid chromatography–photodiode array (LC-PDA) analysis to differentiate structurally similar derivatives including regioisomers of cathinones. Product ion spectrometry of iminium ions allows for an univocal differentiation of the studied cathinones with the same aminoalkyl moiety. Furthermore, the product ion spectrometry of acylium ions and ultraviolet spectra obtained by LC-PDA enabled differentiation of regioisomers resulting from different substitution patterns on the aromatic ring. The validity of the method was demonstrated by the analysis of N-alkylated ortho-, meta-, and para-alkylcathinones along with the scaffolds of buphedrones and pentiophenones.