2020 Volume 9 Issue 1 Pages A0081
Serotonin, an important neurotransmitter, is produced mainly in intestines, and serotonin levels in feces can be an indicator of the intestinal environment. Human feces, however, contain a large amount of contaminants, which vary widely owing to food contents and the intestinal environment, and these contaminants would be expected to interfere with the determination of serotonin levels in human feces. To remove these contaminants and determine serotonin levels, we developed a new method using solid phase extraction (SPE) and column-switching LC-MS/MS. Serotonin, labeled with a stable isotope, was added to human feces samples prior to SPE as an internal standard to correct for individual differences in matrix effects. The recovery rate for SPE was 55.9–81.0% (intraday) and 56.5–78.1% (interday) for feces from two subjects. We analyzed 220 fecal samples from 96 subjects including 76 pregnant and post-delivery women. The endogenous serotonin content per unit weight of dried feces was 0.09–14.13 ng/mg for pregnant and post-delivery women and 0.30–9.93 ng/mg for the remaining subjects.